Impunity in the Amazon | Opinion


An illegal mining raft with three floors and 30 meters long that navigates through the Amazon is the latest image of the destruction of the jungle, supported by the Government of Jair Bolsonaro. On April 14, seven illegal miners arrived on Xipaya land and threatened the father of Juma Xipaya, the first female chief of her village and one of the stars of the Glasgow climate summit.

Afterward, the monstrous vessel sailed through conservation units. Agents from the National Force and ICMBio, the agency responsible for biodiversity conservation, arrested the criminals. red-handed. It seemed like a rare victory on one of the fronts of the climate war. As long as Bolsonaro is in power, however, the chances that humanity will control global warming decrease by the minute. The next day, the Federal Police released the criminals. The excuse: they couldn’t take them to a police station within the 24 hours required by law because the region is “difficult to access.”

Juma Xipaya will speak this Thursday in Vienna, at the EARTH talks Forum, about the attacks on the Amazon. The far-right government of Brazil devours the institutions from within. They don’t need to be shut down, as authoritarian regimes in the 20th century did: they still exist, but they don’t act against the president, his family, his friends, and his support base. Bolsonaro is managing to destroy the only police force that seemed to work in Brazil. After being released, the illegal miners mocked the jungle towns that had denounced them, showing which side the force is on in the country. Adults and children were terrified, in the crosshairs of criminals.

At the beginning of the millennium, the region called Middle Earth was one of the few natural enclaves where the jungle still breathed. Keeping her alive was strategic for any scenario in which human life was wanted to be preserved.

I was the first journalist to arrive in the region, accompanied by the photographer Lilo Clareto, in 2004. We arrived in Riozinho do Anfrísio, the most threatened community, after four days of travel on the river. We sail alongside Herculano Porto, the leader of the resistance, threatened with death.

Last week, while the raft of impunity advanced, I planted the ashes of Lilo, who died of covid-19, in the rivers of Middle-earth. The next day, the history of Herculano Porto was remembered in a tribute that aimed to show the fighting past to the new generation, which today is corrupted by allying itself with the destroyers of the jungle. And so the criminals were arrested and then released.

The certainty, once again, is that resisting is risking being killed, the best thing is to ally yourself with those who rule the country. I will not tire of repeating it: global society has to understand that the future of humanity depends on the struggle that is being waged in the present against a government that uses the state machine to destroy the Amazon. Too alone, we almost always lose.

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