The plan intends for illegal miners to leave the territory without having to resort to force.
The Minister of Justice and Public Security, Flavio Dino, announced on Monday the reinforcement of the deployment in the Amazonian state of Roraima to remove the almost 15,000 “garimpeiros (illegal miners)” installed in the Yanomami indigenous lands.
“In compliance with President Lula’s decree, I decided to expand the presence of the Federal Police and the National Force in Roraima, throughout this week. We want the eviction of indigenous lands to be carried out in peace, without conflicts. We have everyone’s collaboration.” commented in a message on social media.
The plan intends to first carry out a “logistical bottleneck”that is, to block the accesses and dismantle the deposits that supply the mines – such as confiscating the boats that transport fuel to the area – and for the ‘garimpeiros’ to leave the territory without having to resort to force.
According to Dino, the expectation is that when the Police begin to use “coercive force”, 80% of the people who are in indigenous territory have already left it. It is estimated that some 500 agents of the Federal Police and the Army will be deployed and, according to the Minister of Justice, on Tuesday 100 members of the National Force will arrive in Roraima.
Exit of illegal miners
Defense Minister Jose Mucio will travel to the area on Wednesday along with other military commanders to direct the operations, which will last about two months.
This weekend, the governor of Roraima, Antonio Denarium, asked the federal government to help the ‘garimpeiros’ who are trying to leave the Yanomami Indigenous Land, the largest reserve in Brazil, “spontaneously and peacefully”.
Groups of illegal miners began leaving indigenous lands after the government last week sent in the Air Force, which activated the so-called Area Defense Identification Zone.
Videos circulating on social media show groups of people leaving protected lands at night. The Minister of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, Sonia Guajajara, traveled to the area over the weekend and confirmed the departure.
On the other hand, this Sunday, the leader Junior Hekurari Yanomami and the Roraima Indigenous Health Council, reported that three Yanomami indigenous people were killed supposedly by ‘garimpeiros’ in the Homoxi region, within indigenous lands. “I received information from the Haxiu and Waphuta communities that the miners killed three young men. We are very concerned,” he told reporters.
Hekurari also reported that a Yanomami baby of one year and five months died due to acute malnutrition.
The Government of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva declared a state of emergency on January 20 in the face of the health and security crisis suffered by the Yanomami indigenous people due to illegal mining.
According to the Executive, at least 570 Yanomami children died from mercury contamination, malnutrition and hunger, “due to the impact of illegal mining activities in the region.”
In addition, the Executive also ordered an investigation into possible genocide crimes against indigenous communities.
“Our priority focus is around the financiers of the owners of illegal mining and those who launder legal mining, that is the main focus of the investigation,” the Justice Minister said Monday.
The Yanomami Indigenous Land, the largest ancestral reserve in Brazil, is distributed between the state of Amazonas and Roraima and some 29,000 people live in approximately 350 communities of Yanomami, Ye’kwanas and various isolated groups. These native peoples have tirelessly denounced inside and outside Brazil, even before the International Criminal Court, the drama they are suffering.
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