The Brazilian authorities dealt their first blow on Tuesday against the
illegal mining on indigenous lands confiscating dozens of planes used by gold prospectors, accused of causing the humanitarian crisis that currently affects the yanomamis.
At least 24 planes seized by security forces were in custody on Tuesday in the Federal Police yard in Boa Vista, capital of the Amazon state of Roraima.
The measures were taken in view of the situation experienced by the Yanomanis in the Brazilian Amazon, who are going through a serious humanitarian crisis and a health emergency declared by the Government due to the numerous cases of acute malnutrition and outbreaks of other diseases.
Because, The president signed a decree on Tuesday that authorizes the prohibition of air and river transport in Yanomami land, the largest in Brazil, where about 27,000 indigenous people live and it is estimated that there are about 20,000 invading miners.
“The initiatives seek to combat, as quickly as possible, illegal mining and other criminal activities in the region preventing air and river transport that supplies criminal groups,” the Brazilian Presidency said in a statement.
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The initiatives seek to combat, as quickly as possible, illegal mining and other criminal activities
And it is that illegal mining has expanded rapidly in recent years in that region, encouraged by former president Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022), who defended the release of extractivist activities on indigenous lands, which is prohibited by the Constitution.
The Brazilian government decreed a state of health emergency on Yanomami land ten days ago, when Lula visited the area to verify the situation of abandonment in which the indigenous people of that region live.
Nearly 21,000 Yanomami have been infected with malaria, many suffer from heavy metal poisoning used by illegal miners and a large number suffer from malnutrition.
The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples estimates that “at least 570” Yanomami children have died in recent years “due to mercury contamination, malnutrition and hunger.”
The Ministry of Health indicated that more than 1,000 indigenous people were treated in serious condition between January 20 and 23, when Lula visited the region and decreed a state of health emergency.
“The actions also seek to prevent the access of persons not authorized by the public power to the region, seeking not only to prevent illegal activities, but also the spread of diseases,” the Presidency stressed about the measure taken in said region.
Since the emergency operation began, dozens of people have been evacuated by helicopter to Boa Vista, where a field hospital has been set up.
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In parallel, the Air Force distributed tons of food to the villages using military cargo planes or helicopters.
The situation led the Minister of Justice, Flávio Dino, to order an investigation by the Federal Police, for the probable crime of “genocide” due to the lack of attention to the Yanomani people in the previous government, of the right-wing leader Jair Bolsonaro ( 2019-2022).
The Court of Accounts, the supervisory body, also asked to investigate the destination of the national budget for indigenous health during the Bolsonaro government, mainly in the Yanomani reserve, the largest in the country with ten million hectares and 27,000 indigenous people.
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