Stop Silencing Indigenous Peoples By Criminalizing Dissent
The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) condemns the intimidation and persecution by the Bolsonaro government against Indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara of Association of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples (APIB) and against many Indigenous activists and advocates.
According to reports, Sonia Guajajara is being investigated by the police for alleged “campaign of slander and defamation” in relation to the Maracá documentary. The documentary is a documentary film series which strongly criticizes government policies toward Indigenous Peoples and particularly of Bolsonaro’s failed handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and how this has affected Indigenous Peoples.
APIB denounced the inquiry calling it “an attempt to criminalize the indigenous movement” and accused the government of a “genocide” of native peoples during the pandemic, which it estimates has claimed the lives of more than 1,000 native people. Most recently, Brazilian court ordered the Federal Police to suspend the probe into Sonia Guajajara which APIB celebrated as a “victory for the original peoples”.
The IPMSDL firmly stands against these attempts to judicially harass and persecute Indigenous rights defenders and activists by state forces. Vilification and intimidation has been a desperate scare tactic used by State powers and big corporations to silence dissent and trample on the IP struggle for land and rights. Vilification of human rights activists and defenders lead to enforced disappearances and, taken to its extreme, to IP leaders and activists being killed with impunity
Across the globe, Indigenous Peoples are targeted by state forces and foreign capitalist corporations for their lands and resources. And on a global scale, Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the worsening state of human rights violations and government neglect IP communities continue to experience under increasingly fascist and racist governments.
We call on state forces to face Indigenous Peoples by addressing their just demands and recognize the legitimacy of their dissent with utmost respect to their rights. The Federal Police of Brazil must uphold the decision by the Brazilian court to suspend this inquiry.
To stand in defense of Indigenous Peoples’ lives, rights and welfare is not a crime, especially in a time of pandemic and global crisis when their very existence is at risk. We urge our members in the international community to support the appeals against the persecution of IP leaders and activists and to demand a stop to these attacks against IP.
Stop criminalizing dissent!
Fight for Indigenous Peoples rights!
Beverly Longid , Global Coordinator