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The last battle of the Wajãpi against the white man

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The last battle of the Wajãpi against the white man

and So resists an indigenous people who inhabit Amazon region of Brazil centuries ago by presidential decree, which you can open to mining an enormous reserve

The indians Wajãpi live in this corner of amazon rainforest since before Brazil was discovered by Portuguese, in 1500. Over centuries y have survived all kinds of dangers, thanks to symbiotic relationship y maintain with nature. The chief Kasiripiná Wajãpi, of 63 years, recalls that his men were about to disappear on two occasions. The last in 1970, when measles decimated his people. He saw dying babies, elderly and children. Then y were 2,000 of m. Only 150 managed to survive. “We don't want to happen again. This is why [president Michel] Afraid you have to delete that decree forever,” explains Wajãpi, one of chiefs of this group, that you live in an area of 6,000 square kilometers of this rich jungle, where it is prohibited entrance of strangers. THE COUNTRY has obtained authorization of indigenous people to visit m. To get re, it is necessary to travel six hours by car departing from Macapá, capital of State, north of Brazil. In 2017, y face a new threat.

Location land of indians Wajãpi. EP

The decree, which is so afraid of Wajãpi was signed by president last August 22, as part of your plan privatization. Extinguished National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca), an area of 46.499 square kilometers, thus opening possibility of a 10,5% of territory to be tendered for mining, because rest is protected. Located between States of Acre and Amapá, to south of French Guiana, so-called Renca is larger than Denmark. Builds up some treasures coveted by mining industry, as gold, copper, and manganese. But playing amazon rainforest is a problem when 20% of fauna of planet are found within it.

View of lands of indians Wajãpi in amazon rainforest. Victor Moriyama

The 1,300 members of Wajãpi are dealt for that piece of brazilian Amazon, to north of country, and are one of vivid memories from most ancient re. Despite carrying more than five centuries re, failed to demarcate ir land legally until 1996. Even so, is constantly harassed by loggers and gold seekers illegal. Illegal deforestation in whole Amazon reached nearly 10,000 square kilometers of forest last year.


  • Mines of gold illegal in amazon rainforest
  • The murder of environmentalists bat records
  • The brazilian justice suspended a decree of Fear for mining in Amazon

The Wajãpi are moved by forest to defend ir borders. They know that y are a potential target. A dirt road with green on both sides leads up to your booking. When you arrive, green covers it all. As far as eye. Those who come re to feel as if y have travelled back in time. Men and women walk with naked torso, during day, in order to withstand heat of over 30 degrees, in keeping with tradition of indigenous peoples. Painted with ink of seeds, such as urucu, a fruit of area, which gives m a red coloration. All women carried a comb in waist to untangle hair. Their houses are of bamboo, covered with straw. Sleep in hammocks.

For Ajareaty, white men behave like children. “They know y can't destroy nature and continue to,” he says. Victor Moriyama

The relationship with forest is mystical. The Amazon, according to m, belongs to gods invisible. “The land has an owner, river has an owner, trees have an owner. He was not man invented nature”, says chief Wajãpi. That's why it has to be respected, and minerals y stay where y are for trees to remain always on foot. “If it weren't for us, I think, that this forest would not even exist”, apostille. Is Amazon that feeds m and protects m from gain of whites.

The National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca) was created at end of military dictatorship (1964-1985), more as a strategy of nationalist against private exploitation of foreign that as a real attempt to develop mining. Since n, I never was touched by it companies. In reality, it covers a dozen of reserves, including half of lands of Wajãpi.

gold Fever

The decree of Fear generated immediate reactions. It created such discomfort in EU, which arises to express it officially to Brazil. The pressure of environmental groups and international to protect Amazon led brazilian Government to stop decree in abeyance for four months.

India Wajãpi painted red with ink of seeds of urucu. Victor Moriyama

it was useless that Government should ensure that it would preserve protected areas. Nobody believes that is possible, because ecosystem would be affected in one way or anor. “If you eliminate Renca, starts fever of mining sector to Amazon,” warns Verena Almeida, an ecologist who works in jungle. Argues that, with her, would deforestation and a growing population, attracted by gold rush that would put at risk lives of indigenous peoples and activists who defend forests. It is not an exaggeration. The news of murders of indians in conflict over land and environmental defenders have multiplied in Brazil. A July report from NGO Global Witness revealed that country he led, with 49 killed, list of violent deaths of environmental activists in world in 2016.


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