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Project September 30, 2022

Gold Fever in the Yanomami Territory

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The soaring price of gold and the favorable politic from the current Brazilian government toward the exploitation of the Amazon has attracted an estimated 20,000 miners on Indigenous land. The shadow of the return of Lula at the end of the year pushes the Garimpeiros and the gold mafias behind them to bank on this impunity they were granted by President Jair Bolsonaro before any upcoming political change. Thus the recent intensification of crimes and deforestation on this territory.

The presence of the Garimpeiros has greatly disrupted the social organization of the Yanomami by corrupting youngsters with alcohol and bringing hunger and diseases to their land. On April 25, an 11-year-old girl was raped and murdered by Garimpeiros, forcing the Aracaçá community to flee and hide. Other examples of youngsters being recruited by miners to execute the most dangerous and exhausting tasks in the gold extraction process have been reported to NGOs.

The deforested area has risen by 46% in comparison with last year. Currently, the situation is especially tense in the territory. Junior Hekurari, from Hutukara, the main Yanomami association, has been threatened for defending his land and denouncing the invasion and fears for his life.