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Call for solidarity with the Munduruku against Amazon violence, ecocide, carbon trading and contamination
The Munduruku of Brazil's Amazon Basin have been to the fore of resistance to illegal logging and mining, deforestation, and to government policies that would legitimise these crimes. As their recent letter affirms, they oppose trading their lives and territories for carbon credit schemes. Many leaders, including Alessandra Munduruku and Maria Leusa Kaba Munduruku, who visited Scotland, Belgium and Switzerland this year, have consequently been subject to death threats and violent attacks on their homes. The headquarters of the Munduruku Women's Wakoburun association was also attacked in 2021.
The Munduruku live in the southwest of the state of Pará along the Tapajós river and its tributaries, in the east of the state of Amazonas along the Canumã River, and in the north of the state of Mato Grosso in the Peixes River. As their territories face further invasion in face of state negligence and complicity, research shows that in areas more heavily impacted by mining, nine out of 10 participants showed dangerously high levels of mercury contamination, with approximately 16% of children showing associated neurodevelopment deficiencies. Land grabs and violence against the Munduruku is incentivised by state failure to demarcate and protect indigenous territories, policies that favour private ownership, and international speculation, trades and markets that are ineffectively regulated. The problems, therefore, are not just Brazil's. The UK was the third largest purchaser of gold from Brazil in 2020; oil giant, Shell, seeks to offset its ongoing pollution via carbon schemes objected to by indigenous communities; the Mecosur free trade agreement between EU and Brazil further threatens the forest and indigenous lands. The demands by the Munduruku, established following extensive community consultations, are clearly set out in the letter here. For further details on solidarity initiatives with the Munduruku, if you can help share information, or to get involved, please contact: email@example.com