Ten Brazilian Indigenous Leaders to Protest in London

Published November 12, 2019

LONDON — Ten indigenous leaders from across Brazil will take part in a major protest outside the Brazilian Embassy in London on November 14 to demand an end to the destruction of their lands and people.

At the demo the leaders will hand in to the embassy the Racist of the Year award, which this year has been won by President Bolsonaro for his openly racist abuse of indigenous people and genocidal attacks on their rights.

When: 9-10.30am, Thursday November 14, 2019

Where: Brazilian embassy, 14-16 Cockspur St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 5BL.

The APIB delegation are touring Europe. Their slogan: Indigenous blood: not a single drop more.
© APIB

Indigenous Blood: Not a Single Drop More advocacy tour

The indigenous leaders are in London as part of the Indigenous Blood: Not a Single Drop More advocacy tour organized by APIB, the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil. They are calling on people in Europe to boycott Brazilian agribusiness until their rights are respected.

Their visit comes after an intensification of attacks on indigenous peoples in recent weeks. The indigenous Amazon Guardian Paulo Paulino Guajajara was assassinated in an ambush by at least five armed loggers in the Araribóia Indigenous Territory in the eastern Amazon last Friday, November 1. At dawn on October 31, FUNAI’s monitoring post for uncontacted tribes in the Javari Valley, in the western Amazon, was attacked by armed men.

Sonia Guajajara, the Executive Coordinator of APIB, said: “President Bolsonaro wants to destroy the indigenous peoples of Brazil. His racism and hate encourage miners and loggers to invade our territories and kill our people. Well, I’ve got news for him – we love our lands much more than he hates us, and we will never allow him to destroy us, or the forests we have protected for so long.”

Nara Baré, coordinator of COIAB (Coordinating Body of Indigenous Peoples of the Brazilian Amazon) said: “What happened to our relative, Paulino Guajajara, is a clear example of what we have been through. We are reaffirming that it is our blood being shed for the soybeans and wood that come to Europe. We are here to say that every import that comes to Europe is marked with our blood. It’s time to say enough! Measures need to be taken, and the responsibility lies with everyone: parliaments, civil society, consumers and businesspeople themselves.”

Racist of the Year

Among the many racist statements made by Mr Bolsonaro are: “It’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry hasn’t been as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated the Indians.”

Since coming to power President Bolsonaro has tried to cripple FUNAI, Brazil’s Indigenous Affairs Department. His racist rhetoric has led to a skyrocketing number of invasions of indigenous territories, and he is trying to make it easier for agribusiness and extractive industries to exploit resources in indigenous territories.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said: “Since coming to power, President Bolsonaro has mounted a ruthless assault on the rights of Brazil’s first peoples, and is hell bent on opening up their lands to big business. His openly racist comments and refusal to accept indigenous peoples’ rights to their own lands are fueling violence against indigenous people across Brazil. If he gets his way, the country’s first peoples will be wiped out. But they’re fighting back with energy, bravery and determination, and so are their allies. And we’re not going to back down.

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