The Yanomami’s Hutukara Association has declared a humanitarian crisis in the wake of the reported rape and killing of a 12-year-old Yanomami girl by miners, the disappearance of a 3-year-old child, and attacks on the Yanomami’s Aracaçá village that have placed the Amazonian community “on the verge of disappearance” because of violence caused by miners.
According to Júnior Hekurari, president of the Yanomami and Yek’wana Indigenous Health District Council (Condisi-YY), on April 25 a 12-year-old Yanomami girl was raped to death and a 3-year-old child is now missing after being thrown into a river when illegal miners attacked Aracaçá village on in the Brazilian state of Roraima.
While most of the Indigenous community in Aracaça village were hunting, the miners took advantage of their absence to invade the community. According to Hekurari, that’s when illegal miners abducted a woman, her niece, and her small child, and brought them to the miners’ camp. The woman tried to stop the rape of the girl, but the miners then violently threw her and her child into a river in retaliation.
The latest, horrific attacks on the Yanomami people by illegal gold miners operating with impunity across the Amazon demonstrate the miners’ mounting brutality and cruelty, which is matched only by the indifference of the federal government as these crimes increase on Indigenous lands.
In a visit to the community after the crime was reported, the Federal Police and Federal Prosecutors (MPF) stated that “no material evidence of homicide or rape was found.” The Amazônia Real news agency reported that according to Yanomami funeral tradition, the girl’s body had already been cremated.
The MPF and Federal Police have not pursued any information about the cremation of the girl’s body, nor have they said whether they will search for the 3-year-old child and mother who were thrown into the river.
The external commission set up by the Brazil’s Congress set up an external commission to examine the complaints of rights violations against Indigenous people on Yanomami Lands asked the area, reachable only by helicopter, but the army refused, saying it would be impossible “due to limited air assets available in the Amazon region.” Brazil’s armed forces are notorious fo supporting the interests of illegal Amazon mining while doing little to support law enforcement efforts against the industry. In 2020, Brazil’s Air Force brought illegal miners from the city of Jacareacanga, in Pará state, to Brasília for a meeting with then-Environment Minister Ricardo Salles.
as reported by Amazon Watch, the Yanomami people are currently facing a humanitarian crisis because the Bolsonaro regime openly sides with illegal mining and other criminal industries, pushing the Amazon towards its tipping point. In 2021 alone, illegal mining activity in Yanomami territories increased 46 percent with minimal government response. The main targets of this tragedy are women and children, who face violence and sexual abuse. Brazil’s federal government and its head of state refuse to respect Brazil’s Constitution, especially regarding the rights of Indigenous peoples.