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Story Publication logo July 8, 2022

A Delegation of Parliamentarians Heard From Indigenous Leaders That People Have a “Target on Their Backs” (Portuguese)

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This story excerpt was translated from Portuguese. To read the original story in full, visit Agência Pública. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.



In a meeting with parliamentarians, Indigenous people denounce that federal agencies such as the Army, Navy, Federal Police, Ibama, and Incra are absent in the Javari Valley. Image by José Medeiros/Agência Pública. Brazil, 2022.

Atalaia do Norte (AM)—Members of two external commissions of the Brazilian National Congress—one from the Senate and the other from the House of Representatives—heard on Thursday (30) from Indigenous leaders of the Javari Valley that defenders of Indigenous land, including Indigenous people and employees of FUNAI, are threatened, "with a target on their backs," and that federal bodies such as the Army, the Navy, the Federal Police, Ibama and Incra are absent from the region.

Ten parliamentarians, including four senators and six congressmen, met with the Indigenous people on Thursday (30) at the headquarters of Univaja (Union of Indigenous People of Vale do Javari) in the city of Atalaia do Norte (AM). They represent external commissions created in both houses to investigate the murder of the Indigenous activist Bruno Pereira and the British journalist Dom Phillips, which occurred last [June] 5th, and the causes of the federal government's abandonment of the region. The committees are chaired by Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP) and Federal Deputy José Ricardo (PT-AM).


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Ten congressmen, four senators and six federal deputies, were in the region where Bruno and Dom were murdered. Image by José Medeiros/Agência Pública. Brazil, 2022.

Present at the event and with a seat at the guests' table, the commanding general of the Army's 16th Jungle Infantry Brigade, Marcius (he did not inform his last name, probably Army General Marcius Cardoso Netto), told Agência Pública that he would not comment on the criticisms and denunciations presented by the Indigenous people. "You look for the Ministry of Defense. […] Look for the Army Communication Center," the general replied to the journalist.


Dozens of Indigenous people from the Javari Valley went to the headquarters of Univaja to receive the parliamentarians. Image by José Medeiros/Agência Pública. Brazil, 2022.

Dozens of Indigenous people from the Javari Valley went to the headquarters of Univaja to receive the parliamentarians. Image by José Medeiros/Agência Pública. Brazil, 2022.

Dozens of Indigenous people from the Javari Valley went to the headquarters of Univaja to receive the parliamentarians. Image by José Medeiros/Agência Pública. Brazil, 2022.

Jader Marubo: "All [Funai] employees have a target on their backs." Image by José Medeiros/Agência Pública. Brazil, 2022.

Darcy Marubo denounced the abandonment of the Indigenous body in the region. Image by José Medeiros/Agência Pública. Brazil, 2022.

Matís Indigenous people delivered a letter to parliamentarians asking for more support. Image by José Medeiros/Agência Pública. Brazil, 2022.

Univaja supported the request. Image by José Medeiros/Agência Pública. Brazil, 2022.

Federal Public Defender Renan Vinícius Sotto highlighted the State's omission in the Vale do Javari region. Image by José Medeiros/Agência Pública. Brazil, 2022.