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Article

10 May 2022

Author:
Político

Brazil: “Their business means the death of my people and my territory”, Munduruku Indigenous leader states of EU companies using gold from the Amazon

Instituto Internacional Arayara

"EU must hold ‘guilty’ companies to account in Amazon, says indigenous leader", 10 May 2022

...The EU has the power to intervene on behalf of indigenous people being forced from their homes to make way for mining in the Amazon — but will Brussels act?

That's the question indigenous leader Maria Leusa Kaba Munduruku asked on a trip to Europe, where she hoped to confront the companies she says are responsible for harming indigenous groups and destroying the world's most important rain forest — and to convince EU lawmakers to bolster proposals to hold them to account.

“I left the territory to come to Europe to denounce this and to tell the people who buy the gold that comes out with indigenous blood, they are guilty for it too," she told POLITICO. "They are the perpetrators of the violence that is happening in Brazil"...

Human rights and green groups hailed the corporate sustainability due diligence legislation as potentially historic, but criticized its narrow scope...

With the proposal now being discussed in the European Parliament, Munduruku said she wants to ensure the final legislation is strong enough to allow the EU to step in where Brazil's own government has failed to do so.

Munduruku, who is from a tribe of the same name that occupies a section of dense jungle upriver in the Brazilian Amazon, said garimpeiros, the miners encroaching on the area, are destroying villages to open new mines...

“We want [the EU] to hold these actors accountable,” said Luiz Eloy Terena, the legal coordinator of the Association of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples, who has been traveling in Europe with Munduruku. “People who are doing business here need to know that their business is affecting the lives and rights of indigenous people”...

There is no evidence to prove any of the companies at the meeting used the gold from Brazil. It may well have gone to other companies, said Busser.

ASFCMP President Christoph Wild strenuously denied the industry had been indifferent to Munduruku's story and said the group had pledged to keep their supply chain free of human rights violations....

“Their business means the death of my people and my territory,” said Munduruku.