Brazil’s far-right President Bolsonaro is pushing hard to steal indigenous lands and open them up to mining and ranching. If he succeeds, many tribes are likely to be wiped out. His latest move is to appoint a fundamentalist evangelical missionary, Ricardo Lopes Dias, to head the federal department in charge of protecting uncontacted tribes’ territories.
Mr Lopes worked for years with the New Tribes Mission, one of the most extreme missionary organizations. He spent ten years evangelizing tribes in the Javari Valley, home to more uncontacted tribes than anywhere else on Earth. The indigenous organization there has strongly denounced his appointment.
If this move isn’t challenged, Brazil’s long-standing policy to protect uncontacted tribes from forced contact will probably be reversed. Entire tribes could be wiped out by genocidal violence and by diseases like flu and measles to which they have little resistance.
Please email, or tweet at, Brazil’s Justice Minister today, urging them to reverse this dangerous appointment.
I urge you to reverse the appointment of Mr. Ricardo Lopes Dias to the indigenous affairs department, FUNAI.
He will undoubtedly attempt to open up indigenous territories, encouraging missionaries to forcibly contact uncontacted and recently contacted tribes and giving the green light to loggers, ranchers and other invaders.
Whole uncontacted tribes – the most vulnerable peoples on the planet – could be wiped out. This, of course, violates the Brazilian constitution and international law.
Brazil is home to more uncontacted tribes than anywhere else on Earth. Please ensure their land is protected so they can survive and thrive.
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