Land Demarcation Timeframe Law Means Continuing to Steal the Land, Says the Leader of the Yanomami People

For Davi Kopenawa, prospectors will advance onto indigenous areas if the approval of the Law takes place

São Paulo

For Davi Kopenawa, a shaman and political leader of the Yanomami people, the approval of the Land Demarcation Timeframe Law —a "big snake"— will open up indigenous lands to miners and invaders who are currently operating in hiding.

Retrato de Davi Kopenawa
Davi Kopenawa -Foto Adriana Duarte / ISA - Adriana Duarte / ISA

Leader of the mobilization that led to the demarcation of the Yanomami Indigenous Land in 1992, Kopenawa says he is hopeless in the face of the lack of protection for the land. "I've already waited, like, 20 years... Never succeeded. The damage is only increasing."

According to him, the federal government's operations to expel miners need support from the Army, especially on the borders. "But the military is not helping, because they are in favor of prospectors working in hiding", he assesses.

Kopenawa is releasing a new book, called "Espírito da Floresta" (Companhia das Letras). He says his works are warnings against threats to the earth, which he refuses to name "climate change". "To me, such change is the earth's revenge."

Translated by Cassy Dias

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