Lula defends use of government apparatus against illegal mining

He met with ministers a year after the Yanomami crisis was revealed

Published on 09/01/2024 - 15:44 By Andreia Verdélio - Brasília

A year after the humanitarian crisis in the Yanomami indigenous territory came to light, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva defended on Tuesday (Jan. 9) the use of all the power of the government apparatus against illegal mining in indigenous lands.

The president headed a ministerial meeting at the Planalto presidential palace to assess the efforts made in 2023 and discuss the current situation of the Yanomami people in Roraima state, who are still suffering from invasions on their land.

After taking office in January 2023, President Lula visited the area and saw first-hand the health crisis plaguing the indigenous community, with members falling victims of malnutrition and other diseases.

The region is Brazil’s largest indigenous territory in terms of land area and is assailed by the invasion and violence of gold miners and the contamination of the land and water by the mercury used in mining.

Efforts by the Federal Police encompass 13 operations, 114 search and seizure warrants, 175 arrests in flagrante delicto, and the seizure of assets worth BRL 589 million.

A total of 387 investigations are still ongoing. In addition, the airspace over the area came under control in a bid to combat clandestine flights and the illegal provision of supplies to mining activities.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Fernando Fraga / Denise Griesinger

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