After six days of fighting for his life in an intensive care unit in a Amazonas state hospital, a 15-year-old Yanomami teenage boy died in April 9 from complications caused by the coronavirus. The boy’s death sounded the alarm for Brazil’s Indigenous peoples who now face the fear of the virus alongside the stress of increasing criminal activities and government policies.
With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in Latin America, indigenous peoples and communities face the challenges that this disease brings. Faced with government neglect, the absence of social investment in their regions and the lack of access to regional or national hospitals, indigenous people have a serious disadvantage, but our own ancestral knowledge provides forms of protection.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s willingness to open Indigenous reserves to mining, agriculture and infrastructure has triggered a rise in invasions of indigenous lands by armed gangs of land grabbers, causing constant fear in indigenous communities.
In March, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro visited U.S President Donald Trump to discuss deepening relations between their countries. In their joint statement, the two presidents agreed to “catalyze investment in the Amazon region”.