The bishops of the region that covers the north of Brazil, including a large portion of the Amazon rainforest, have denounced “genocidal acts” carried out under the orders of the former federal government led by Jair Bolsonaro.
Images have surfaced over recent days of Yanomami Indians suffering from illness and severe malnutrition, which is attributed to the invasion and exploitation of their lands by illegal miners and to deforestation.
The bishops were left “shocked and deeply angered by images of the skeletal bodies of Yanomami children and adults in the state of Roraima, due to the genocidal and ecocidal acts of the previous federal government”.
They said that Mr Bolsonaro’s administration had “opened certified indigenous lands to illegal mining and extraction of wood, which destroys the forests, contaminates waters and rivers, introduces disease, hunger and death”.
According to the bishops at least 570 children have already died in the recent crisis.
The state of the Yanomami people led recently-elected president Lula da Silva to visit the territory, highlighting the plight of the Amazonian natives.
According to a statement published by the Brazilian bishops’ conference, the exploitation of the Amazon’s natural resources benefits from the complicity of local elites, businessmen and corrupt civil servants.
The Brazilian bishops’ bioethics committee has also published a statement, expressing its profound sadness over the tragedy affecting the Yanomami people.
The statement refuses any compromise in the defence of dignity and life, from conception until death, for all people, regardless of “ideology, party politics or any interest [other] than absolute respect for our brothers and sisters”.
According to government agencies operating in the region, over 1,000 members of the indigenous tribe have been taken in for care already, most of whom are suffering from malaria and malnutrition.
Close to 30 children were taken to hospital in the past week alone. Numbers are expected to rise as aid workers reach other afflicted communities.
Credit: Source link