Men Invaded Indigenous Village and Assassinated Waiãpi Leader

10 to 15 men carried large guns

Fabiano Maisonnave Rubens Valente
Manaus and Brasília

Up to 15 men armed with high-caliber weapons have invaded the Waiãpi Indigenous Land in western Amapá in an attempt to intimidate indigenous people living in a remote region of the state, according to FUNAI, Brazil’s indigenous agency.

Based on reports from the Waiãpis, FUNAI says the group assasinated leader Emyra Waiãpi last week (there were no witnesses, and the body was only found the next day).

Waiãpi Indigenous - Crédito: Fiona Watson/Survival International

The indigenous agency has not yet arrived at the scene of the crime, accessible only through a journey by car, boat, and on foot.

The invasion comes amid repeated statements by President Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) that he intends to legalize mining in indigenous lands, a campaign promise. The change in legislation, however, needs congressional approval.

The FUNAI document states that the invaders are sleeping in Aramirã village, forcing the Waiãpis to move to a neighboring community that is a 40-minute walk away.

FUNAI instructed the Indians not to approach the armed men, possibly miners. The region is rich in gold.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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