Brazil: Two more indigenous leaders killed amidst increasing violence, following Bolsonaro's encouragement of commercial exploitation of their lands

Author: Agencies, The Guardian, Published on: 10 December 2019

"Amazon indigenous leaders killed in Brazil drive-by shooting", 08 Dec 2019

Two indigenous leaders have been shot dead and two others wounded in Brazil’s Maranhão state, in an attack not far from where a prominent tribesman who defended the Amazon rainforest was killed last month, authorities said. The attack on the members of the Guajajara tribe, which is known for the forest guardians who protect their territory against illegal deforestation, occurred on the margins of a federal highway near El-Betel village... The group was returning from a meeting when they were attacked by gunmen in a moving car. Indigenous tribes in Brazil are facing escalating violence during the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, who has promised to reduce tribal rights and encouraged the commercial exploitation of their protected lands. Tribes have faced violence from illegal loggers and miners... [S]pokesman for the tribe, said they did not know why the two men, who he identified as Firmino Guajajara and Raimundo Guajajara, had been shot... Authorities said they were investigating but did not say if anyone had been detained... The advocacy group Amazon Watch said the Guajajara people were returning from a meeting with Eletronorte, a Brazilian electric utilities company, and Funai (Brazilian National Indigenous Foundation) where they had been advocating for their rights. The program director of Amazon Watch, Christian Poirier, said: “An institutionalised genocide of indigenous peoples is taking place in Brazil. They are being left alone, vulnerable to all kinds of threats and violence... 

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