Cimi calls for recomposition of the Temporary External Commission to monitor the Yanomami crisis

Yanomami Indigenous Land, Uraricoera region (Bruno Kelly/HAY)
Priscilla Peixoto – From Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – The Indigenous Missionary Council (Cimi) requested the recomposition of the Temporary External Commission that monitors the crisis in the Indigenous Territory (TI) Yanomami. The formal request was made on Thursday, 23rd. Cimi alleges that three senators participating in the commission are “involved in the defense of mining” in Yanomami territory: Chico Rodrigues (PSB/RR), Mecias de Jesus (Republicanos/RR) and Hiran Gonçalves (PP/RR).

“The majority formed by the three Senators from Roraima delegitimizes and distorts the mission of the External Commission due to their explicit involvement in the defense of mining within the Yanomami TI, a criminal activity whose consequences and impacts have become evident to all of Brazilian society. More than speaking of the possible conflict of interest, there is evidence that there is a spurious intention on the part of these parliamentarians to use a mechanism of control and monitoring of the Legislative Power to, with it, defend the maintenance of mining as a solution,” says the Council.

Excerpt of the text published on the Cimi site (Reproduction/ Cimi)

The Commission is composed as follows: Chico Rodrigues (PSB/RR), president of the Commission; Eliziane Gama (PSD/MA), vice-president; Hiran Gonçalves (PP/RR), rapporteur; Humberto Costa (PT/PE); and Mecias de Jesus (Republicans/RR).


In a publication on the official website the Council points out that Senator Chico Rodrigues (PSB/RR) has already been accused of being the owner of aircrafts that operated mining operations in the Yanomami Indigenous Territory and recalls images made by him. “He himself recorded a video of himself in a mine inside the Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous Territory and circulated it on social networks, configuring a flagrant act of collusion with invasion and illegal exploitation of gold inside indigenous lands,” points out the text that also reprimands the name of Hiran Gonçaves.

Indigenous Missionary Council (Reproduction/Cimi)

“Senator Hiran Gonçalves (PP/RR), rapporteur of the new Commission, has already shown his hostility and enmity towards the indigenous peoples of Roraima at various times. Defender of PL 490/2007, which intends to change unconstitutionally the procedures for demarcation of indigenous lands, Hiran Gonçalves said during the session of the Commission of Constitution and Justice – CCJ, in June 2021, that indigenous peoples were “an obstacle to the development of the state of Roraima”.

The Council also points out that Senator Mecias de Jesus, father of federal deputy Johnatan de Jesus, is a supporter of the regularization of mining in ITs and was against the destruction of machinery used in mining activities.

“(…) Strong advocate of the regularization of mining within indigenous lands, as expressed during a public hearing of the Commission on Human Rights of the Federal Senate in April 2022. Author of Bill 1331/2022, which provides for the research and mining of mineral resources on indigenous lands approved or in the process of demarcation, Mecias de Jesus has already declared that he is also against the destruction of machines caught in illegal mining operations”.


The Hutukara Associação Yanomami (HAY), an entity that represents the Yanomami indigenous people of Roraima, also criticized the participation of three senators from Roraima in the external commission of the Senate that will monitor the humanitarian and health crisis of the Yanomami in the state. Like Cimi, the association also points out that Chico Rodrigues (PSB), Hiran Gonçalves (PP) and Mecias de Jesus (Republicans) are openly in favor of mining.

Humanitarian Crisis

The advance of illegal mining in Yanomami Land, accepted and encouraged by the Bolsonaro government, has provoked a humanitarian, health and sanitary crisis in the territory. More than 20,000 miners invaded the indigenous land and reached previously untouched regions such as Auaris, almost on the border with Venezuela.

The mining and the lack of indigenous health care under the Bolsonaro government have led to an explosion of cases of malaria, severe malnutrition, respiratory infections, and other diseases associated with hunger, such as diarrhea.

In addition to emergency health actions, the Lula government has initiated Operation Liberation, to destroy aircraft and machinery used by the miners and to attempt to remove the thousands of miners. The operation is expected to last from six months to a year.


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