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News > Brazil

Brazilian Yanomami Indigenous Leader Meets With Pope Francis

  • Yanomami leader Davi Kopenawa, Vatican City, April 10, 2024.

    Yanomami leader Davi Kopenawa, Vatican City, April 10, 2024. | Photo: X/ @corriereveneto

Published 10 April 2024

Currently, the Yanomami territory in the Amazon basin suffers from the scourge of illegal mining.

On Wednesday, the leader of the Yanomami Indigenous people, Davi Kopenawa, met with Pope Francis and asked him to support Brazilian President Lula da Silva's actions in favor of protecting the Indigenous territories at the Amazon basin.


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"The Pope wanted to know my people's problem," assured Kopenawa, who handed the pontiff a letter describing the situation they are going through and intending to make him understand what the Yanomami demand.

"There are many politicians who do not want Lula to solve things... He is only one person and cannot solve everything," Kopenawa said, so he asked the pontiff to give the Brazilian president support to reinforce his work in defense of Indigenous peoples.

Referring to the situation in the Brazilian Amazon, the Yanomami Indigenous leader said that the administration of Jair Bolsonaro "ruined everything."

The text reads: "Audience of Pope Francis with Mr. Davi Kopenawa, shaman and representative of the Yanomami of Brazil."

The Lula administration, "which really knows the soul of our planet, is trying to fix the situation. I'm not going to say they're going to fix it... but they are trying to start," pointed out Kopenawa, who is one of the winners of the Alternative Nobel Prize 2019.

Currently, the Yanomami territory suffers from the scourge of illegal mining, which has caused its nearly 30,000 inhabitants to suffer from hunger and diseases.

To alleviate the situation, Lula announced on Monday military actions against illegal mining in the Amazonian states of Roraima and Amazonas, which are on the border with Venezuela.

On March 14, Pope Francis called on the international community to listen to Indigenous peoples to protect the environment by learning from "their wisdom and way of life."

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