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  • Indigenous people carry the coffin of Bishop Pere Casaldaliga  during his funeral in Sao Felix do Araguaia, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. August 12, 2020.

    Indigenous people carry the coffin of Bishop Pere Casaldaliga during his funeral in Sao Felix do Araguaia, in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. August 12, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 17 August 2020
Opinion

The Kayapo people live in 12 settlements in the plains of Matto Grosso and Para. So far, about 400 community members have contracted COVID-19, and four have died due to the disease. The contagion chain started after infected illegal miners entered to Kayapo territory.

The Brazil Coordination of Indigenous Peoples (APIB) reported on Monday that dozens of Kayapo Mekragnoti Indigenous people blocked a road in Para state to demand medical assistance and supplies to fight COVID-19.

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"Every day that goes by, that disease ( COVID-19) is increasing, that's why we make this movement, so that the government looks at the indigenous, not only at us but at the whole of Brazil. All the Indigenous people need help," community Chief Beppronti Mekragnotire said.

The protesters blocked the roads with barricades made up of car tires and timber, to prevent traffic from the center-west part of the country to Amazon and coastal zones.

The Kayapo people live in 12 settlements in the plains of Matto Grosso and Para. So far, about 400 community members contracted COVID-19, and four have died due to the disease. The contagion chain started after infected illegal miners entered to Kayapo territory.

APIB stressed Indigenous people are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 because they suffer systemic discrimination that prevents them from accurate medical resources and their precarious immunity system. About 21,000 Indigenous people have contracted COVID-19 in Brazil, and 618 have died.

The Kayapo leaders also protest against the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest and the illegal mining in their ancestral territories.

As of Monday, the South American nation health authorities recorded 3,363,235 COVID-19 cases, 108,654 deaths, and 2,478,494 recoveries from the virus.

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