World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Brazil: Gunmen threaten to assassinate leading Amazon shaman

Brazil: Gunmen threaten to assassinate leading Amazon shaman

July 29, 2014

Davi Kopenawa, shaman and internationally renowned spokesman for the Yanomami tribe in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, has demanded urgent police protection following a series of death threats by armed thugs reportedly hired by goldminers operating illegally on Yanomami land.

In June 2014, armed men on motorbikes raided the Boa Vista office of Brazilian organization ISA, which works closely with the Yanomami, asking for Davi. The men threatened ISA’s staff with guns and stole computers and other equipment. After the assault, one of the men was arrested and reported that he had been hired by goldminers.

In May, Yanomami Association Hutukara – headed by Davi – received a message from goldminers that Davi would not be alive by the end of the year.
Davi said, “They want to kill me. I don’t do what the white people do, who go after someone to kill them. I don’t get in the way of their work. But they are getting in the way of our work and our fight. I’ll continue to fight and to work for my people. Because defending the Yanomami people and their land is my work.”

Since the attack, a climate of fear has surrounded the offices of Hutukara and ISA, as men on motorbikes intimidate the staff and repeatedly ask for Davi’s whereabouts.

In collaboration with Hutukara, Brazil’s government launched a major operation to evict hundreds of illegal miners and to destroy mining infrastructure in February 2014.

Davi, who has been called the “Dalai Lama of the Rainforest”, has been at the forefront of the struggle for the protection of Yanomami land for over 30 years. Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, supported the Yanomami’s successful fight for the demarcation of the Yanomami territory in Brazil, after an invasion of thousands of illegal goldminers in the 1980s decimated the tribe.

Davi has traveled abroad on many occasions to raise awareness of the urgent need to protect the Amazon rainforest from destruction. He has spoken at the United Nations and received the Global 500 award, among others, for his contribution to the battle of environmental preservation.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, “The rule of law means nothing on the Amazon frontier, which is as wild and violent as the American West used to be. Anyone standing in the way of this aggressive colonization risks being killed in cold blood. These are not empty threats – indigenous activists are frequently assassinated for resisting the destruction of their land. Davi Yanomami’s life is in danger. Those behind the threats and this latest attack must be brought to justice – the authorities need to act now to prevent the murder of another innocent man.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news