• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Members of the Kayapos ethnic group block the B3-163 highway as a protest against the scarce health resources assigned to them, against the Ferrogrão railroad, in Novo Progresso, Pará. August, 2020.

    Members of the Kayapos ethnic group block the B3-163 highway as a protest against the scarce health resources assigned to them, against the Ferrogrão railroad, in Novo Progresso, Pará. August, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 18 September 2020
Opinion

During the pandemic, several communities entered lockdown to avoid bringing in the virus.

Brazil Indigenous Missionary Council (Cimi) said on Friday that the lack of demarcation of Indigenous territory promotes an increase of COVID-19 cases among native communities.

RELATED: 

Chile: Mapuche People Reject Sale of Ancestral Territory

"The lack of demarcation weakens rights and makes it difficult for public policies to reach all areas, both in the creation of special indigenous education schools and in the treatment of water and the reform of signaling and road access to community water," said the legal advisor to Cimi, Daniel M. Ribeiro.

The demarcation is a political requirement for indigenous communities to possess their land and decide over it, and be entitled to implement preventive measures coherent with their traditions. 

During the pandemic, several communities entered lockdown to avoid bringing in the virus. The indigenous population is more vulnerable to the virus because of the government's systemic neglect of their medical attention.

"Concerning the Pankará people, the territory is not restricted. It is as if the doors were open, and everyone can enter the territory and leave at their own time. We are not fragile in terms of organization or autonomy. Still, we are fragile in terms of being more exposed to contact with other people and not having the dominion to defend our territory from this contamination," said Pankará cacique Dorinha.

Cimi also stressed the urgency of food and financial aid for indigenous people who depend on the informal trade of food or handcrafts.  The pandemic hit them the hardest as productive activities ceased due to quarantine. 

According to the latest reports, about 30,000 indigenous people in Brasil have tested positive for COVID-19, and over 700 of them died due to the virus. Only the Tuxi, the Kapinawá, and the Pankaiwká people have not reported coronavirus cases.

Comment
0
Comments
Post with no comments.