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Story Publication logo April 13, 2021

Commentary: Defending the Amazon, A Matter of Life and Death for Munduruku Youth (Spanish and Portuguese)

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The Jirijirimo waterfall, on the Yaigojé river, in the Brazilian state of Amazonas.
English

The FLARES FROM THE AMAZON project seeks to warn of the increased dangers of deforestation and...

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Val Munduruku, an Indigenous woman, is shown at the COP25 conference in Madrid. Image provided by Val Munduruku. 2019.

We see how our forests turn into great mud pools. We see how the sources of our rivers are sedimenting and how their courses are deviating. We see how the shadows of the trees disappear, how the fruits we collect diminish, and how the crystalline water of the Tapajós River, the igarapés, and the springs, becomes more cloudy every day. Finally, we see how the smoke from the fires darkens our evening.

All this happens in the Munduruku Indigenous Land, to which I belong. Here I was born and raised, in the upper part of the Tapajós River, in the municipality of Jacareacanga, Pará state, Brazil. And here, in recent months, we see with alarm a significant increase in the invasion of our territory by illegal miners at the same time that a high number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Jacareacanga hit our communities, and the illegal extraction activity does not stop. On the contrary: deforestation and pollution in our region are increasing.

Read the full story on the openDemocracy website, either in Spanish or Portuguese.