Sebastiao Salgado launches international appeal to save Brazil’s indigenous peoples - 05/05/2020
In an open letter, the Franco-Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado launched an international appeal to save Brazil's indigenous peoples, who are seriously threatened by the COVID pandemic19 .
H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco joined the photographer's appeal by co-signing a statement to alert the Brazilian government to the vulnerability of these indigenous communities and calling for immediate action to protect them. The disappearance of indigenous peoples would indeed be a considerable loss for humanity.
"The indigenous peoples of Brazil face an extreme threat to their very survival because of the coronavirus pandemic. Five centuries ago, these ethnic groups were decimated by diseases brought by European colonizers. Since then, successive epidemiological crises have killed the majority of their populations. Now, with this new scourge spreading rapidly across Brazil, indigenous peoples, such as those who live isolated in the Amazon Basin, could be wiped out altogether since they have no defense against Covid-19.
Their situation is doubly critical because the territories reserved by law for the exclusive use of indigenous tribes are now being invaded by miners, loggers and cattle ranchers. These illicit activities have accelerated in recent weeks because the Brazilian authorities charged with protecting these lands have been immobilized by the pandemic. As a result, with nothing to shield the indigenous peoples from this highly contagious virus, they now face the real risk of genocide caused by infections brought by illegal intruders on their lands.
Such is the urgency and seriousness of the crisis that, as friends of Brazil and admirers of its spirit, culture, beauty, democracy and biodiversity, we appeal to the President of Brazil, His Excellency Mr. Jair Bolsonaro, and to the leaders of Congress and the Judiciary to take immediate measures to protect the country's indigenous populations against this devastating virus.
These indigenous peoples are part of the extraordinary history of our species. Their disappearance would be an utmosttragedy for Brazil and an immense loss for humanity. There is no time to lose.
Fifty or so international and scientific personalities have also accepted to support this appeal. https://bit.ly/3aY7YSV