Amazon tribe to be protected

Katie Ramirez
November 5, 2019

Sonia Guajajara, a member of the APIB, which is committed to fighting for indigenous peoples' rights in Brazil, that it's "time to stop this institutionalized genocide" after Paulino's death.

Illegal loggers in the Amazon ambushed an indigenous group that was formed to protect the forest and shot dead a young warrior and wounded another, leaders of the Guajajara tribe in northern Brazil said on Saturday.

Paulino Guajajara, who was in his twenties and leaves behind one son, told Reuters in an interview, on the reservation in September that protecting the forest from intruders had become a unsafe task, but his people could not give in to fear.

The two men had left their village on Friday night to look for water when the attack occurred, the Human Rights Secretariat of the Maranhao governorate said on Twitter.

She said they informed federal agencies "but they didn't take any action". Survival International researcher Sarah Shenker, who was in the region in April, said the work of the Guajajara is important to protect other indigenous people in the area.

This incident comes amid increasing invasions of reservations by illegal loggers and miners.

Since taking office in January, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of harming the Amazon and indigenous tribes in order to benefit his supporters in the logging, mining and farming industries.

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The APIB - Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil - throughout this month is making a tour of 12 European countries, meeting with heads of state, congresspeople, artists, professors, students and activists to denounce the reality of the indigenous peoples in Brazil and the recurrent attacks such as this dawn. "The increase in violence in indigenous territories is a direct result of his hateful speeches and steps taken against our people".

The Guajajara people of the state of Maranhão knew they were in danger. "He encourages the loggers and land grabbers, and strips the forest's defenders of protection, leaving them at the mercy of heavily armed and utterly ruthless logging mafias".

Paulino Guajajara, in an interview with Reuters in September, had said that protecting the forest from these intruders was a risky task.

"I'm scared sometimes, but we have to lift up our heads and act".

'We can create the entirety to bring those to blame for this crucial crime sooner than the courts, ' said Moro, a frail federal judge.

At least 1,558 people in 50 countries were killed between 2002 and 2017 while trying to protect their land, water or local wildlife, says the analysis from NGO Global Witness, which calculated the death toll is nearly half that of United States troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.

"We are protecting our land and the life on it, the animals, the birds, even the Awá [a small, endangered tribe] who are here too", he continued.

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