Brazil indigenous group accuses Bolsonaro of ‘genocide’ and ‘ecocide’

An activist said the Brazil president “needs to pay for all the violence and destruction”

Mudslide in Brazil

An indigenous organisation in Brazil has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate President Jair Bolsonaro for “genocide” and “ecocide”.

The Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) accuse the 66-year-old of persecuting native peoples and destroying their homelands.

The group filed a case alleging that the far-right president has led “an explicit, systematic and intentional anti-Indigenous policy” since taking office in 2019.

“We believe there are acts in progress in Brazil that constitute crimes against humanity, genocide and ecocide,” Eloy Terena, the group’s legal coordinator, said in a statement.

“Given the inability of the justice system in Brazil to investigate, prosecute and judge these [crimes], we denounce them to the international community,” Terena added.

The ICC’s chief prosecutor must now decide whether to pursue the cases.

Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon has reached near-record levels

Bolsonaro, 66, has presided over a surge of destruction in the Amazon rainforest, slashed environmental protection programmes, and pushed to open indigenous reservations and other protected lands to agribusiness and mining.

Indigenous rights activists further accuse him of exacerbating the devastation that COVID-19 has wrought on their communities with his stance against stay-at-home policies.

The estimated 900,000 Indigenous people in Brazil are particularly vulnerable to outside diseases, including COVID-19, which has killed at least 1,166 of them, according to the APIB.

APIB executive coordinator Sonia Guajajara added: “We have been fighting every day for hundreds of years to ensure our existence and today our fight for rights is global.

“The solutions for this sick world come from indigenous peoples and we will never remain silent in the face of the violence we are suffering. We sent this communiqué to the International Criminal Court because we cannot fail to denounce Bolsonaro’s anti-indigenous policy.

“He needs to pay for all the violence and destruction he is committing.”

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon reached near-record levels for the 12 months through July, according to recently released figures.

A total of 8,712 square kilometres (3,364 square miles) of forest cover – an area nearly the size of Puerto Rico – was destroyed from August 2020 to July 2021, according to satellite data from Brazilian space agency INPE’s DETER monitoring programme.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in