On Monday, 6th of June 2022, Brazilian Indigenista Bruno Araújo Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips, a contributor to The Guardian, were reported missing in the Javari Valley region, while returning from a visit to the Indigenous Surveillance Team close to Lake Jaburu, Amazonas, according to a statement released by the Union of Indigenous Peoples of Vale do Javari (Univaja).

The disappearance comes in the midst of deepening anti-Indigenous policy promoted by the current Brazilian government which, through various initiatives (loosening protections, promoting retaliation against employees of environmental agencies, paralysis of the processing of fines, budget strangulation), has put an end to the legal framework that protects natural resources and the fundamental rights of Indigenous Peoples in Brazil.

The setbacks that mark the current Brazilian government are present in all sectors of the country, but in the case of Indigenous Peoples, the situation goes beyond setbacks and translates into a context of permanent violation of indigenous lands. Without the slightest embarrassment, Bolsonaro’s Brazil gives political and moral license for predatory activities to be reproduced in broad daylight, especially in the Amazon: in and around Indigenous Lands, the rise in violence is notorious, caused by the invasion and land grabbing on Indigenous Lands. and territories, as well as the proliferation of mining and illegal logging in these areas. According to the most recent edition of the report “Violence against Indigenous Peoples in Brazil”, by the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI), murders have increased by 61%, with 182 cases recorded in 2020 and territorial conflicts have also increased, with 96 such cases in 2020 – 174% more than the year before.

Several bills are currently being processed in the Brazilian Congress that, directly or indirectly, threaten Brazilian Indigenous Lands. Dubbed the “Destruction Package”, this set of laws includes, among others, PL 191/2020, which allows mining and other forms of economic exploitation within TIs; and PL 490/2007, which advocates the Temporal Framework and is therefore unconstitutional. These two PLs pose serious risks to the integrity of Indigenous Peoples.

As long as policies contrary to the promotion of human rights continue to be the flagship of Brazil, the country will continue to be immersed in profound violence that borders on barbarism – and offering its people more reasons to regret than to celebrate.

It is urgent that the Brazilian government mobilize all the necessary efforts to find Bruno Araújo Pereira and Dom Phillips, otherwise they will become victims of this context of insecurity spread by the “anything goes” policy that has been established in the Amazon.

Greenpeace Brazil

Greenpeace UK