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News > Brazil

Latin American Indigenous Peoples Congress Begins in Brazil

  • An indigenous child from the Guarani Kaiowa tribe in Brasilia, Brazil, June 26, 2019.

    An indigenous child from the Guarani Kaiowa tribe in Brasilia, Brazil, June 26, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 3 July 2019

The scientific event will address contemporary problems faced by Indigenous peoples due to the lack of respect for their rights.

The University of Brasilia began hosting Wednesday the third International Congress of Latin American Indigenous Peoples (Cipial), a scientific event which joins together more than 2,500 participants who seek to promote intercultural dialogues on Indigenous issues.


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"Cipial is a long-awaited moment because it is an opportunity for exchanging research results and experiences as well as for building alliances in defense of the Latin American Indigenous peoples," Monica Nogueira, the event coordinator, explained.

This scientific congress, whose central theme has to do with contemporary common challenges for plural narratives and epistemologies, will include more than 60 thematic symposia, talk wheels, mini-courses, workshops and artistic and documentary shows.

Also scheduled are conferences with Indigenous intellectuals and activists from different countries, among whom are Ailton Krenak and Sonia Guajajara (Brazil), Ketty Marcelo Lopez (Peru) and Oscar Montero de La Rosa (Colombia).

There will also be a panel on contemporary Indigenous expressions, with Eliane Potiguara (Literature), Ivan Molina Quechua (Audiovisual), and Jaider Esbell Makuxi (Fine Arts).

"Bolsonaro threatens to exterminate indigenous peoples, says indigenous leader Raoni, one of the main international names defending the Amazon."

The 2019 Cipial congress provides an international opportunity to make visible the problems faced by Amazon's Indigenous peoples.

One of the main problems facing those communities in Brazil is the obstacles put in place by President Jair Bolsonaro which are meant to do away with "land demarcations," a policy that guarantees the right of Indigenous peoples to their territories and prevented the expansion of commercial agriculture, forestry and mining in the Amazon basin.

Last May, Raoini, an 87-year old Kayapo Indigenous, met with France's President Emmanuel Macron and Pope Francis to denounce deforestation and to ask for support. Recently, he also tried to meet with Bolsonaro to explain to him the effects of the loosening environmental regulations in the country. The far-right president, however, did not accept the meeting offer. 

"No," Bolsonaro had said in response to the invitation and added that Raoni "does not represent Brazil or even an Indigenous community."

The elderly Kayapo leader replied recalling that "the Indigenous peoples are worried. We acknowledge that Bolsonaro can exterminate us and we want to show the government the pressure we are suffering from illegal loggers and miners. They must respect our rights.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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