Conectas demands investigation into the murder of the indigenous leader of the Wajãpi
A rigorous, impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding the murder of Emyra Wajãpi is essential in order to identify those involved and to hold them accountable
Conectas Human Rights vehemently repudiates the murder of the 68 year old leader Emyra Wajãpi, on Monday 22, in the region of the Waseity indigenous village on Wajãpi indigenous land, in Pedra Branca do Amapari, in Amapá.
According to information published by the Council of Aldeias Wajãpi – Apina, the violent death of Emyra Wajãpi was discovered only the next day, Tuesday 23. Reports say that he was knifed in the forest en route for his village. In the following days other intruders were spotted on Wajãpi territory, near the villages of Yvytotõ and Karapijuty. They were armed. On Friday 26, the Apina Council informed Funai and the Public Prosecutor’s Office about the raid asking for the Federal Police to be sent in.
The year of 2019 has seen an alarming increase in incursions onto indigenous land in Brazil. According to data from Cimi (Indigenous Missionary Council), since the beginning of the year incursions onto indigenous land have increased by 150% . The increase in the number of raids on territory occupied by indigenous people and worsening violence in the Amazon region is happening in parallel with comments by President Jair Bolsonaro in which he calls for easing legislation in order to allow gold and mineral mining on indigenous land.
Half of the Wajãpi indigenous land is within the Mineral Reserve of Copper and its Associates – Renca, an area of 47 thousand square kilometres in Amazonia, between the states of Pará and Amapá, that was abolished in August 2017, by means of a decree signed by president at that time, Michel Temer, to allow the territory to be exploited for mineral extraction. Following national and international condemnation, the measure was reversed. The Wajãpi have played a fundamental role in the resistance for the preservation of the forest in the region and have acted as a barrier against mining in Amazônia.
Rigorous, impartial investigation into the circumstances is essential in order to identify the people responsible for the murder of Emyra Wajãpi and to hold them responsible. Conectas extends its deepest solidarity to the family and community of the Wajãpi indigenous land.