Indigenous Communities Under Siege in Rondon’s Land

Image courtesy of Fabio Nascimento.

The continued invasion of native territories in the western part of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.


In Rondônia, the Indians are under siege. It is not just an expression. Open a map and try to locate the Brazilian state to the northeast of the border with Bolivia: decades of deforestation have left indigenous lands as the last green spots.

These lands are the source of the rivers that run through the state. These are the forests several ethnic groups, some of them reduced to a few hundred survivors, call home.

These lands are coveted today for their timber, their minerals, their “market value”. Within this besieged area not only is nature being decimated, but indigenous communities are increasingly cornered.

The invasion of their lands using fake documents (a practice called ‘grilagem’ in Brazil) and  illegal logging are the crimes that are fostering this division of indigenous lands. The territories inhabited by the Karipuna and Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau peoples are being attacked from different directions.

As if we were watching a documentary about hordes of barbarians assaulting Rome, on a trip to Rondônia we witnessed constant invasions and threats to indigenous communities.

Imagine a game: the board is called Rondônia and the objective is to place all the pieces inside the last green islands of forest. The pieces are land grabbers and loggers. They move forward. In this task they have the support of local politicians, as well as the House of Representatives and the Senate. Public officials and civil society try to prevent these invasions, but they are also threatened.

The Karipuna and Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau fight on. They have resisted for decades, but now it’s different. With the new president, Jair Bolsonaro, the war against indigenous territories has already been declared.[…]

Continue reading: Indigenous Communities Under Siege in Rondon’s Land

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at
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