Mining Brings Sexual Abuse and Fear to Yanomami Land, Report Says

Document also points to growth of destruction and more than 3,000 hectares of Amazon felled

A new report on the destruction caused by mining within the Yanomami indigenous land points to cases of sexual abuse, harassment and the supply of alcoholic beverages, in addition to the increase in deforestation in the Amazon. According to the document produced by the Hutukara Associação Yanomami and the Associação Wanasseduume Ye'kwana, with technical assistance from Instituto Socioambiental, in 2021, the destruction associated with mining grew 46% in the indigenous land compared to 2020. The devastation reached 3,272 acre.

Monitoring has been done since 2018 and this was the largest increase ever recorded. In addition to the percentage growth, mining is advancing into new areas of Yanomami land.

To verify the destruction caused by mining on the protected land, images from the Planet and Sentinel 1 and 2 satellites were used. After that, every six months, flyovers are carried out to validate the destroyed areas detected. In some parts of the indigenous land, there are reports of sexual abuse and harassment of women and children. This is the case around the Apiaú River. The presence of weapons among the miners means that the indigenous people no longer resist harassment out of fear, say the authors. There are also reports of sexual exploitation of indigenous women on the Mucajaí and Couto Magalhães rivers.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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