good news of the fortnight
“A historical novelty of the Lula government is the indigenous policy, instead of the indigenist policy, which will be implemented from now on”. THE placement by Márcio Santilli, activist and founding partner of Instituto Socioambiental, reflects the beginning of a new moment in Brazilian politics and in the socio-environmental struggle, marked by the protagonism of indigenous peoples in the defense of their lives and their rights.
Sonia Guajajara, who has already chaired the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (Apib), took office as Minister of Indigenous Peoples, a portfolio that will have the lawyer Eloy Terena as executive secretary and Guajajara's right-hand man. Funai, which will form part of the new Ministry, will be renamed the National Foundation for Indigenous Peoples and will also be headed by an indigenous woman, the former federal deputy joenia wapichana. The Ministry of Health also gains indigenous representation for the first time. The Indigenous Health Secretariat (Sesai) will be directed by the lawyer Weibe Tapeba.
There are many innovations that highlight how politics reinvents itself to make room for the protagonist role of indigenous peoples!
As the first act of the new indigenous policy, a normative instruction that made logging more flexible on indigenous lands, allowing non-indigenous people to participate in management, was revoked. The norm had been created at the end of the government of former President Jair Bolsonaro and presented a management plan that could meet the interests of loggers, who had been pressing for it.
In the same week, Sesai and Funai also acted, sending a 10-day mission to the Yanomami Indigenous Land (RR and AM) to make a diagnosis of the health situation of the indigenous people and, from there, outline actions to face the health crisis experienced in the region. In recent years, the Yanomami have experienced various problems in accessing health care, made worse by the invasion of gold miners into their territory. Health professionals report a lack of security and vulnerability to continue care.
The visit took on a great and necessary proportion. THE President Lula also went to Yanomami Land on Saturday, January 21, together with a committee, which also included Sonia Guajajara, Joenia Wapichana, Weibe Tapeba, the Minister of Health, Nísia Trindade, the Minister of Justice, Flávio Dino and the first lady Janja Silva.
The committee's departure drew the attention of the mainstream press, the government and Brazilians to the catastrophic situation of the Yanomami. The health and socio-environmental emergency in the indigenous land has its roots in the 1970s, during the Military Dictatorship, but it worsened to the extreme during the government of Jair Bolsonaro.
In the midst of this crisis, Lula exonerated 11 indigenous health coordinators from the Ministry of Health, While Guajajara fired 43 soldiers who were allocated to Funai and that they had been taking actions contrary to the mission of ensuring the rights of indigenous peoples. Lula also decreed a state of Health Emergency of National Importance and created a National Committee to Confront the Yanomami's Health Lack of Assistance.
And still in the first week of work, the Ministry and Funai showed that they will closely monitor and investigate cases of violence against indigenous people, which have grown in recent years. One crisis office was created by Sonia Guajajara to investigate cases of violence against indigenous peoples fighting for the demarcation of land in southern Bahia. The ordinance was signed on an urgent basis after 2 indigenous leaders from Pataxó people were shot dead in the city of Itabela.
O Roraima Indigenous Council (CIR) is celebrating 50 years of history. This is one of the oldest indigenous organizations in the country. In the Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous Land (RR), one of the sacred places that symbolizes the struggle of the native peoples of the state, more than two thousand indigenous people from 11 ethnoregions (Serras, Raposa, Surumú, Baixo Cotingo, Serras, Amajari, Murupú, Tabaio Wai-Wai, Yanomami, Yekuana and Pirititi) met between the 16th and 19th of January.
The organization had its initial milestone in the 1970s, when a small group of indigenous people decided to hold the first Assembly of Tuxauas, in the Barro community, in the Surumú region. Since then, meetings have become annual.
During these 50 years, the struggle for the territory of Raposa Serra do Sol was the most emblematic moment for the movement, in which many lives were lost. The process of demarcating the indigenous land began in the 1970s, with the construction of the CIR. It was almost 30 years until the decision of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) for homologation and demarcation, which took place in 2008.
It was at one of the Council's assemblies that Joenia Wapichana was collectively chosen as a candidate for federal deputy, having been the first indigenous woman to be elected to the position. Wapichana was the first indigenous lawyer in history to speak on the plenary of the Federal Supreme Court during the legal battle for the Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous Land.
Currently, the CIR represents 261 communities and defends the rights of more than 70 indigenous people from 10 peoples. The organization operates in several areas such as health, safety, education, culture, environmental management and sustainable development.
Socioenvironmental is written together
This January, Agência Pública promotes the 2nd call for the 15th edition of its micro grants for indigenous reporters from all over Brazil.
Interested parties can submit investigative guidelines to report on threats and attacks on indigenous lands and the communities that live there. The 5 winning proposals will win a grant of R＄ 7.500 to produce the report, mentored and edited by Pública. Entries must be made by January 31, 2023 through this form.
“We are looking for guidelines that address different aspects of these threats to indigenous lands and peoples, such as: invasions of territories; robberies and destruction of natural heritage in indigenous lands; corruption, actions and omissions by public authorities and business sectors related to these crimes; violence practiced against indigenous populations in struggle for their territorial rights; unpublished testimonies and information that prove the authorship of actions of dispossession and violence recorded in recent history, etc. Regulation.
During the 1st call, which took place last year, indigenous communicators from Amazonas, Rondônia, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul were selected.
Watch the video and find out: