At least 10 people were injured this wednesday in a attack by “garimpeiros” (illegal miners) on an indigenous village in the Brazilian state of Pará, where some houses were burned, and in the subsequent reaction of the Police to the incursion, official sources reported. The attack was attributed to a reaction by artisanal miners to an operation carried out several days ago by the Federal Police to expel ‘garimpeiros’ who invaded indigenous reservations in the Brazilian Amazon.
Among the injured are 10 ‘garimpeiros’, who were transferred to a hospital in Jacareancaga, a municipality in the southwest of the state of Pará, and an unknown number of indigenous people of the Munduruku ethnic group, treated in the village itself.
The attack occurred as a result of the intensification of the actions of the so-called Operation Mandurukania, launched by the Federal Police, the Brazilian Institute of the Environment (IBAMA), the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) and the National Security Force. to repress the illegal mineral exploitation in the reservations of the Munduruku and Sai Cinza ethnic groups. The ‘garimpeiros’, in protest against the operation, blocked a highway in the Amazon and prevented the movement of the police and prosecutors to the invaded reserves, in one of which the attack took place. According to a statement released by the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), the miners shot and set fire to several houses in the Fazenda Tapajós village, within the Manduruku reserve. “The group set fire to several houses in the village, one of which was one of the main leaders of the Munduruku, an ethnic group that opposes illegal mineral exploitation in the region,” the note says. The statement adds that, in addition to the residence of Maria Leusa Kaba Munduruku, those of some of her relatives were also set on fire and were completely destroyed. “The Federal Public Ministry asked the Federal Police to send reinforcements to the village,” the statement said.
According to the agency, the region lives in great tension because the gunmen said that they also they would attack other villages whose leaders oppose mining on their reserves. “Currently there are federal forces in Jacareacanga before an order from the Supreme Court to repress the illegal activities of the ‘garimpeiros’, and even that was not able to intimidate the invaders,” says the Attorney General’s Office. The same source added that the attackers also tried to attack one of the bases installed by the Federal Police in the region in an attempt to prey on the equipment and vehicles used by the uniformed in operations against illegal miners, which caused a shootout in the streets of Jacareacanga. “Again indigenous lives are threatened by the ‘garimpeiros’ in the Amazon. The terror routine is also repeated in the Yanomami Indigenous Territory, in the state of Roraima, which has been under intense attack since the beginning of the month, “denounced the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil in a statement in which it recalled similar events that occurred in the last days in Yanomami villages.
According to the Public Ministry, the attacks have been getting worse since, at the beginning of the year, Magistrate Luis Roberto Barroso, one of the 11 members of the Supreme Federal Court, ordered the Government to adopt measures to stop the advance of the ” garimpeiros “in the indigenous reserves.
According to the Federal Police, illegal mining in the Amazon, in addition to looting minerals on public lands and causing serious damage to the environment Due to the use of highly harmful products, which cause pollution in the rivers, it generates a series of social problems, such as conflicts between indigenous people and “garimpeiros”.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.