Brazil airlifts starving Yanomami tribes

Published January 24th, 2023 - 10:02 GMT
File Photo by AFP
Handout aerial picture released by the Hutukara Yanomami Association showing huts of an uncontacted Yanomami tribe, inside the Yanomami territory in Roraima, northern Brazil, on November 21, 2011. AFP PHOTO/HUTUKARA YANOMAMI ASSOCIATION/Morsaniel Iramari/HO RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE-NO MARKETING-NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS-MANDATORY CREDIT 'AFP PHOTO/HUTUKARA YANOMAMI ASSOCIATION/Morsaniel Iramari/HO' -DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS (Photo by Morsaniel IRAMARI / HUTUKARA YANOMAMI ASSOCIATION / AFP)

ALBAWABA - Brazil evacuated 16 malnourished Yanomami tribe members to another country for emergency medical care, the government said,

In the state of Roraima in northern Brazil, the indigenous people resided in a heavy-forested reserve, similar to a jungle. However, the area was struck with water pollution from mining and lodging, resulting in food shortages and even deaths.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva accused his predecessor, far-right Jair Bolsonaro of committing genocide against the rainforest tribe.

Following allegations of chronic starvation among Yanomami children, President Lula traveled to Roraima, which borders Venezuela and Guyana, on Saturday.

He said he was "shocked" by what he discovered. "More than a humanitarian crisis, what I saw in Roraima was genocide: a premeditated crime against the Yanomami, committed by a government insensitive to suffering," he said later. "I came here to say we are going to treat our indigenous people as human beings."

In the Yanomami reserve, it is believed that there are 28,000 indigenous people inhabiting the area. They live in tiny, dispersed, semi-permanent settlements and engage in hunting and small-scale slash-and-burn agriculture.

There are an estimated 28,000 indigenous people living in the Yanomami reserve. They hunt and practice minimal slash-and-burn farming in small, dispersed, semi-permanent villages.

According to the new Lula government, illegal gold mining has a clear connection to the deaths of more than 500 indigenous children who drank mercury-tainted water in recent years.

Lula was sworn in as president on Jan. 1 after narrowly defeating Jair Bolsonaro.


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