Rainforest protection in Amazonia: Indigenous people are suing the Brazilian state


Indigenous peoples are the custodians of the forests of Amazonia. But since President Jair Bolsonaro took office, loggers and prospectors have had an easy time of it. The Karipuna people don't want to put up with this any longer.

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Brazil: The Fear of the Rainforest Dwellers

Amazonia has never been so endangered. Forest exploitation and violence against indigenous people have increased dramatically under President Jair Bolsonaro's government. Forests and biodiversity are traditionally better preserved in areas where indigenous communities live.

Illegal logging in the territory of the Karipuna

However, the institutions and state authorities responsible for protecting the environment and for the interests of the indigenous people have been systematically weakened over the past four years. Structurally and financially. This has strengthened criminal gangs in their activities, be it in illegal mining, timber trading or land grabs. The Karipuna people in the state of Rondonia defend themselves against these machinations with an exemplary fight.   

Their territory covers 153,000 hectares. It was officially recognized by the Brazilian government in 1998. Nevertheless, the land of the Karipuna was one of the eight most illegally deforested indigenous areas in Brazil last year.   

Daybreak in a village of the Karipuna in Amazonia

Where the executive and legislative powers do not act, only recourse to the constitution remains, in which the protection of the indigenous people peoples and their right to land. The Karipuna are taking legal action against the Brazilian government, the state of Rondonia and the National Agency for the Protection and Rights of Indigenous Peoples FUNAI. They demand permanent protection against attacks on their territory. The Indigenous Mission Council supports the Karipuna's lawsuit. 

Adrano Karipuna is at the forefront of the protest. He is studying law on behalf of his people in order to be able to better defend their rights in the future. 

A film by Vanessa Fischer and Nikolaus Tarouquella-Levitan.