Supreme Court Justice Rules that The Government Must Fight Coronavirus among Indigenous People

Decision is result of lawsuit that accuses the government of neglect


Supreme Court Justice Luís Roberto Barroso ruled on Wednesday (8) that the federal government must adopt a series of measures to contain the Covid-19 contagion and mortality among the indigenous population.

The decision comes from a case brought by the Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil and six opposition political parties, which accused the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro of neglect.

On Wednesday, Bolsonaro (without a party) sanctioned a bill that deals with social protection measures to prevent contagion and spread the disease in indigenous territories. But Bolsonaro vetoed the government's obligation to provide drinking water, hygiene, and hospital beds to indigenous people.

Among the measures determined by Barroso are the access of all indigenous people to the Indigenous Health Subsystem and the elaboration of a plan to confront and monitor Covid-19. The actions must be implemented with the participation of the communities.

Chief Yanama Kuikuro. - Arquivo Pessoal

The justice said that the Indians' participation in the process is "indispensable" because each community has specific problems that need to be brought to the government's attention.

He determined that a situation room be installed to manage indigenous peoples' actions in isolation or in recent contact.

Also, the Executive power will have to contain invaders in reserves and create sanitary barriers in the case of indigenous people in isolation.

Barroso noted that the Indians, "for historical, cultural and social reasons, are more vulnerable to infectious diseases, with a mortality rate higher than the national average".

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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