Warring Amazonian Tribes Have United Against The Brazilian Government To Protect The Rainforest
After wildfires struck the Amazon rainforest over the past few weeks, concerns were raised around the world about the government's own part in the fires.
The tribes came together to discuss the government's plans to authorise leasing and mining on indigenous lands. They aired concerns about prospectors and loggers infringing on their territories, as well as pesticide contamination of local rivers, which they use as their main water source.
The meeting took place in the Kubenkokre village of the Terra Indigena Menkragnoti - a territory in the indigenous lands - and was attended by representatives from 14 indigenous ethnic groups in the Xingu basin.
The region makes up a huge part of the forest and is one of the last reserved sections of the Amazon. Shockingly, almost 69,000 hectares were lost between January and June this year, according to BBC News Brazil.
Mudjire Kayapó, one of the leaders present, told the news outlet: "Today we have only one enemy, which is the Brazilian government, the president of Brazil, and the invasions of non-indigenous people.
"We have internal fights, but to fight this government, we join."
In a manifesto released by the group, they stated: "We are extremely concerned about what is currently happening in Brazil. The Government says that we forest peoples want to live like all Brazilians and that we no longer need our land.
"But this is a lie! The Government wants to open our territories for the economic exploitation of farmers, prospectors, miners, loggers, hydroelectric dams, highways and railroads.
The manifesto went on to say that the indigenous people feel like it's their duty to protect the forest, acknowledging that it's an important part of the world's climate balance.
They wrote: "We are responsible for protecting the Xingu forest, which benefits the entire region and the residents of large cities, contributing to the essential climate balance for the country and the world.
"We want recognition and respect for our ways of life and also participate in decisions about the future of Brazil. We demand to be heard, especially about what affects us, as guaranteed by ILO Convention 169, which is law in Brazil.
"We will never stop being the people of Xingu, we will never leave our lands, we want to leave them to our children and grandchildren. Xingu is one."
Featured Image Credit: PA