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Marcela Leiros – From Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – In Brasil, the last day of the virtual mobilization “Abril Indígena: violação dos direitos e o genocídio no Amazonas” ends this Friday, 30, with an analysis of doctors and researchers on the neglect with that public institutions treated indigenous health during the pandemic Covid-19.

Intending to gather reports and testimonies to build a dossier that makes institutions and public officials responsible for omissions and neglect in the pandemic, the event started this Thursday, 29, and ends this Friday with a transmission on YouTube.

According to epidemiologist Jesem Orellana, from Fiocruz Amazônia, invited to the event, public institutions only started to take more efficient measures concerning the pandemic recently, after the country reached the mark of 400 thousand deaths by Covid-19.

“We have seen them do it now, but after 400 thousand deaths. After the CPI is installed, now they are starting to mobilize because there is a clear and evident widespread health neglect and probably a deliberate conduction of both indigenous and non-indigenous populations to a false notion of collective”, he said the researcher.

Epidemiologist Jesem Orellana, from Fiocruz Amazônia, at virtual mobilization (Reproduction / Youtube)

The researcher also recalled the exposure of indigenous people to chloroquine tablets in the villages, which’s even one of the points to be investigated at Covid CPI instituted in the Senate. Orellana also included Fiocruz among the institutions that should have been more firm in positioning.

“We had in 2020, within the Yanomami Indigenous Land, the presence of several bodies, the Ministry of Defense and Health, Armed Forces, distributing and participating directly or indirectly in the distribution of thousands chloroquine tablets. And as strange as you think, because I belong to Fiocruz, we need to ask for explanations for the exacerbated production of pills”, said Jesem.

Purposeful contaminations

The invasions in indigenous communities with the consensus of public institutions were also punctuated by biologist and master in Ecology Lucas Ferrante, from the ‘National Institute of Amazonian Research’ (Inpa). He mainly highlighted the situation of the Apurinã and Mura Indigenous Lands, in-state Amazonas, which are being threatened with the illegal opening of land by gold miners.

“The situation today that we see of the Bolsonaro government is serious. Including, we have just published a recent study that shows how the federal government has helped to scrap and threaten indigenous peoples, with various orchestrated actions that make these peoples vulnerable”, said the biologist.

Ferrante also recalled that the invaders are using the pandemic to contaminate the indigenous and conquer the territory.

“The federal government has refused to consult with indigenous peoples in these two territories. With these invasions, people are being pushed out of their own territories. Besides, invaders are using the pandemic to contaminate the indigenous and orchestrate this genocide to conquer the territory”, he said.

Virtual mobilization

Indigenous human rights organizations met in the virtual mobilization to share reports and testimonies about the violation of the rights and genocide of traditional peoples in Amazonas.

Organized by ‘Frente Amazônica de Mobilização em Defesa dos Direitos Indígenas’ (Fammdi), the virtual mobilization discusses both the situation of the indigenous people during the pandemic, concerning violence against the peoples.

According to the indigenous anthropologist Gersem ‘Baniwa’ Luciano, it is important to listen to the experts’ testimonies and experiences to base technically and legally the document that will be built from these reports.

This is a commitment that we are making, it is part of the event’s objectives. Record the technical and legal guidelines for setting up this dossier and then forward it so that the necessary measures can be taken. This is one of the purposes: give consequences to our actions. Take it forward and materialize what we have to do “, highlighted the anthropologist.

The testimonies of the virtual mobilization will serve as evidence that should support a document to hold public institutions and agents accountable.

Deaths by Covid-19

According to ‘Brazil’s Indigenous People Articulation’, the deaths of indigenous people infected by Covid-19 increased 800% in 15 days, during April. There were nine cases recorded between the 6 and the 21, a leap compared to March, which recorded the first death from the disease of an 87-year-old indigenous woman from Borari people in the municipality’ Santarém (PA).

The survey was released on Thursday, 24. According to Apib, the number of contaminated maybe even greater taking into account the underreporting by the Federal Government, which does not come close to more accurate data. The information was collected based on the balance sheets of the Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health (Sesai) and with state departments, besides indigenous leaders themselves.

See the full programming: