In the Yanomami and Mondoroku regions in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil, indigenous people are increasingly facing “violent attacks” and “invaders” associated with illegal mining. A Brazilian Supreme Court judge ordered President Jair Bolsonaro’s government to protect them on Monday.
Judge Luis Roberto Barroso said that the government should “take all necessary steps immediately to protect the life, health and safety of the indigenous people living in the Yanomami and Mondoruco regions”.
As of 2020, Yanomami indigenous people have warned of the extremely tense situation in their sanctuary, the largest in Brazil, which covers 96,000 square meters and houses around 27,000 indigenous people.
Earlier this month, the Hutukara Yanomami Association (HAY) reported a confrontation between indigenous Yanomami residents and illegal miners who had invaded Palemio community in Roraima state. Four miners and one indigenous were shot.
Indigenous and environmental organizations report about 20,000 illegal miners in the Yanomami Prefecture. On the other hand, the Bolsonaro government claims that the number of illegal miners does not exceed 3,500.
Illegal mining is one of the main reasons for the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. By 2020, illegal mining in Yanomami will increase by 30 percent. In addition, the equivalent of 500 football fields have been destroyed, according to a report by HAY published in late March.
It is also said that miners are responsible for introducing the Coronavirus to indigenous peoples in the Amazon rainforest.