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Story Publication logo February 22, 2021

Mining Threatens the Sacred Center of the World (Spanish)


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

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

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Robin Elkin Díaz Miraña, an indigenous Macuna, takes care of the purity of the knowledge of seven peoples that live together in the Yaigojé Apaporis National Natural Reserve and Park, between Amazonas and Vaupés, Colombia. Robin's fight against multinational mining companies and illegal rafters who want to take part of the wealth of his ancestors, such as gold, has been going on for more than a decade.

Yaigojé Apaporis, an Amazonian territory of 1,056,023 hectares, is the home of the Cabillarí, Tanimukas, Letuamas Yahunas, Yuhup, Barazano, Yauna and Macunas peoples. A total of 22 communities live in the surroundings of the mighty basins of Pirá Paraná, Apaporis, Mirití Paraná, Caquetá and Vaupés.

This place is made up of a natural complex of waterfalls and water currents "where all the knowledge of the peoples flows," as the wise men of the place say, and joins the large macro-territory known as Jaguares del Yuruparí, which corresponds to an area of ​​eight million hectares and is located in the hydrographic basin of the Vaupés and Caquetá rivers, in the Amazon jungle. There, different ethnic groups share the ritual of the Yuruparí, the myth of the origin of the Laguna de Leche and customs such as sowing, cultivating chagra, fishing and hunting.

Today, Robin's voice is heard because it warns that in the midst of the pandemic this macro-territory is at risk. On the one hand, there are threats of illegal gold mining, and it's feared that the government will grant mining titles as it did in the past by favoring a multinational company. In addition, the Covid-19 disease roams in their communities.

Read the full story in Spanish on the El País website.