Brazil to support Yanomami indigenous people with permanent structure

The issue will be discussed at a public hearing later this month

Published on 10/01/2024 - 15:29 By Andreia Verdélio  - Agência Brasil - Brasília

Brazil is set to establish a permanent structure in the state of Roraima to oversee public initiatives and services for the Yanomami indigenous people.

The President’s Chief of Staff, Rui Costa, announced plans for a 2024 budget of BRL 1.2 billion to support government actions and ensure ongoing care for the population.

The new structure will not only coordinate public efforts but will also involve a permanent presence of the Federal Police and the Armed Forces in the region.

On Tuesday (Jan. 9), President Lula led a meeting to address the situation faced by the Yanomami people due to ongoing encroachments on their land, outlining measures to be implemented in 2024.

Within the next 30 days, the government is expected to present its strategy for deploying security forces to "definitively remove any invaders." Additionally, the Ministry of Health will construct a new Indigenous Healthcare Center (Casai) in Boa Vista, the state capital, while emergency renovations are being carried out on the existing main unit.

Logistics

As of March, logistical support for the Yanomami indigenous land will transition from the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces to the Ministry of Management and Innovation in Public Services, which will handle this through a long-term contract specifically tailored for this purpose, Rui Costa stated.

According to the minister, there are still food supplies in stock that the Army and the Armed Forces will distribute in the coming months.

Humanitarian crisis

A year ago, the humanitarian crisis in the Yanomami community came to light. Shortly after taking office in January 2023, Lula visited Roraima and saw first-hand the health situation of these indigenous community, victims of malnutrition and other diseases.

This is the largest indigenous land in the country in terms of territorial extension, and it suffers from the invasion and violence of gold miners and the contamination of land and water by mercury used in mining.

Despite long-standing appeals from indigenous organizations and bodies like the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office for assistance to these communities, it was only after President Lula's inauguration that the federal government began implementing measures to aid the Yanomami indigenous community.

Translation: Mário Nunes -  Edition: Aline Leal / Denise Griesinger

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