WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07), Susan Wild (PA-07), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), and Hank Johnson (GA-04) issued a statement in support of the Yanomami People. Illegal mining, emboldened by former Brazilian President Bolsonaro, has brought threats, attacks, death and disease to the Yanomami people.
“We, the undersigned members of the U.S. Congress, would like to express our deepest solidarity with the Yanomami people of Brazil. Recent revelations have shown the scale to which the Yanomami have endured a humanitarian crisis attributable primarily to illegal mining activities on their lands. The crisis has brought widespread suffering in this Indigenous community and has caused many of its members, particularly children, to die from preventable diseases, such as malaria and malnutrition.”
“It is undeniable that the current dramatic situation faced by the Yanomami people is directly related to former President Bolsonaro’s anti-environment and anti-Indigenous policies. By defunding and dismantling key environmental and human rights agencies, supporting bills to open Indigenous land to mining, and constantly attacking Indigenous people throughout his presidency, Bolsonaro enabled illegal miners to invade Yanomami territory and conduct their activities with impunity. The crimes committed by the Bolsonaro administration must now be met with justice and accountability.”
“It is a relief to know that the recently inaugurated government of President Lula is committed to protecting the environment and human rights, and is acting swiftly to aid the Yanomami. We hope that President Lula’s administration will continue to make environmental protection a priority and do what is necessary to expel the illegal miners from Yanomami territory, while holding those responsible for these disastrous practices accountable.”