Illegal mining, abuses surge on Indigenous land in Brazil: Report | Environment News

The report accuses illegal miners of committing rape and other acts of violence in indigenous communities in the Brazilian Amazon.

Illegal gold mining surged by record numbers last year to Brazil’s largest indigenous reserve, according to a new report that sent chills to miners over the cases of abuse by miners, including extortion of women and girls.

Areas scarred by “garimpo”, or wild cat gold miningAccording to a report by the Hutukara Yanomami Association (HAY) on Monday, the area planted to Yanomami in the Amazon rainforest will increase by 46 percent in 2021, to 3,272 hectares (8,085 acres).

That was the largest annual increase since surveillance began in 2018.

“This is the worst time of aggression since the reserve was established 30 years ago,” the indigenous rights group said in a report based on satellite images and interviews with resident.

“In addition to deforestation and destruction of our waters, illegal mining of gold and cassiterite [a key tin ingredient] in Yanomami territory brought an outbreak of malaria and other infectious diseases… and a terrifying increase in violence against indigenous peoples. ”

Men search for gold at an illegal gold mine in the Amazon jungle in the Itaituba area of ​​Para state, Brazil.
Men search for gold at an illegal Amazon mine in the Itaituba region of Para state, Brazil [File: Lucas Dumphreys/AP Photo]

Illegal mining has soar in Amazon because the price of gold has increased sharply in recent years.

According to official figures, the mining operation destroyed the record 125 square kilometers (48 square miles) held by the Brazilian Amazon last year.

Illegal miners linked to organized crime are accused of a variety of abuses in indigenous communities, including poisoning rivers with mercury used to separate gold from sediments. and sometimes deadly attacks on residents.

The report is given as Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro push the law up legalize mining on indigenous landsattracted opposition from Indigenous groups and environmentalists.

Yanomami, one of Amazon’s most iconic Indigenous groups, involves a series of hateful abuses.

They included miners who fed Yanomami with alcohol and drugs, then sexually abused and raped women and girls.

Yanomami said miners often demanded sex in exchange for food. A miner is said to have asked for an arranged “marriage” to an underage girl in exchange for “goods” he never delivered.

OR says: “Indigenous women see the miners as a terrible threat, condemning “a constant atmosphere of terror and fear”.

The Yanomami Reserve spans 9.7 million hectares (24 million acres) in northern Brazil, with about 29,000 inhabitants, including the Yanomami, the Ye’kwana, and six isolated groups with virtually no connection to the world. outside world.

Brazilian indigenous and environmental authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment from AFP news agency on the report.

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