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June 26th, 2020

Sign petition to stop genocide of indigenous tribes

topic:Indigenous people
type:NGO, Petition
by:Yair Oded

The outbreak of COVID-19 across Latin America has been taking an increasing toll on indigenous populations. As of 21 June, 7,000 cases were reportedly identified in one hundred different indigenous communities in Brazil, with 330 recorded deaths.

The situation for indigenous peoples in other South American countries, such as Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru, is just as dire, with rising infection rates and mounting starvation. Across the continent, indigenous tribes lack access to proper health services and are not extended adequate support by the state.

The utter neglect by governments towards indigenous peoples has exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, but has been prevalent and deadly long before. The virus has made worse what could already be classified as an ongoing genocide of indigenous tribes across Latin America - executed through the erosion of their human rights, their mass killings, and the plundering and destruction of their lands. 

Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist Sebastião Salgado has launched a petition to denounce the ongoing genocide against indigenous populations and provide them urgent support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have created an appeal to three powers [executive, legislative and judicial], we bought media space, because we believe there is a genocide, that is, an elimination of ethnicities and their culture… if there is no state protection, the genocide is authorized,” said Salgado during an Oxfam Brazil livestream. 

Please take a moment to sign Salgado’s petition, and check out our call to action to support Amazon Watch - an indigenous-led NGO that works to defend and uplift indigenous populations living in the Amazon and protecting their lands. 

Image: Chris via Flickr

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