On Wednesday, the Brazilian Police announced that it will open an investigation to establish whether the serious health emergency experienced by the Yanomami people is the consequence of the actions and policies implemented during the Jair Bolsonaro administration (2019-2023).
This investigation arose from a complaint filed by the Justice Ministry, which detected a very serious health situation in the villages located in the states of Amazonas and Roraima.
The complaint asks to clarify the alleged responsibility of the Bolsonaro administration in omissions that could be classified as crimes of genocide.
Located in the Amazon basin, the Yanomami territory, which is the reserve of Brazil with about 10 million hectares, is inhabited by about 27,000 Indigenous people.
Over the last four years, this population has been permanently harassed by illegal miners, who had the support of large companies and far-right militias operating in rural areas.
The Justice Ministry complaint mentions that Indigenous peoples submitted «repeated requests for help» since 2019. Nevertheless, their requests were ignored by Bolsonaro.
On Saturday, President Lula da Silva visited the Yanomani territory, which was declared in a situation of «health emergency of national importance» so that it can be promptly attended to.
«What I saw in Roraima was a genocide rather than a humanitarian crisis. It was a premeditated crime against the Yanomami, committed by an administration insensitive to the suffering of the Brazilian people,» Lula said after his visit to the Amazon.
After this first visit, the Indigenous Peoples Ministry announced that over a thousand citizens with severe malnutrition received emergency care. It also reported that at least 570 Yanomami children died from mercury contamination and malnutrition over the last four years.
Besides experiencing water pollution from mining, the Yanomani territory has also been affected by numerous cases of malaria and other tropical diseases.
When the former Captain Bolsonaro assumed the presidency in January 2019, he began to systematically dismantle the environmental and humanitarian institutions that had protected Amazonian inhabitants for decades. Many of these Indigenous peoples have been struggling to remain isolated from the colonizing society.