Devastated indigenous Brazilian woman conveys an emotional message as the Amazon rainforest burns

‘They are killing our rivers[…] and set our reserve on fire’— the Pataxó woman says in the video.

To quickly sum up the events that have taken place: 

  • Wildfires have spread across Brazil, leaving horrible, devastating consequences for the Amazon rainforest. 
  • The president of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro has informed the public that 44,000 troops will be positioned on location in order to sort out the concerning issue [of the fires].
  • Cattle ranchers and farmers who use fire to clear land for agriculture are suspected to be to blame for the record increase in fires in 2019.

A video of an indigenous Pataxó woman in the Amazon rainforest has gained a lot of social media attention.

In the said video footage she is seen conveying a passionate and heartfelt message in front of the burning forest. She very bluntly critiques Brazilian authorities for allowing the massive destruction to continue.

A significant part of the population has the stance that the fires were started in a deliberate manner in order to create space for further farms and cattle ranches. It is, therefore, alleged that this could be a political move by President Jair Bolsanaro in an attempt to improve Brazil’s economic growth.

The video is available for you to watch here:

Here is what the indigenous Brazilian woman has to say in the video footage:

For two years we’ve fought to preserve [our reservation] and these assholes came in and burned it down.”

“They are killing our rivers, our sources of life, and now they have set our reserve on fire. Tomorrow we are closing the roads and I want all the media here to see this.”

Now that this tragic event has garnered global attention, Presiden Bolsonaro is said to have called for ‘unprecedented’ military action in the affected areas in an effort to extinguish the fires.

Furthermore, as per the words of defence minister Fernando Azevedo, forces will make their way to four Brazilian states that requested federal assistance in order to suppress the massive fires.

Azevedo has added that the first military operation will consist of 700 armed forces heading to the area of Port Velho, the capital of Rondonia. They would be using a C-130 Hercules aeroplane, which has the capacity to dump 12,000 litres of water on the fire (at a time).

President Bolsonaro has said— via ITV News

The protection of the forest is our duty. We are aware of that and will act to combat deforestation and criminal activities that put people at risk in the Amazon. We are a government of zero tolerance for crime, and in the environmental field it will not be different.


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The lungs of the Earth are in flames. 🔥 The Brazilian Amazon—home to 1 million Indigenous people and 3 million species—has been burning for more than two weeks straight. There have been 72,000 fires in the Brazilian Amazon since the beginning of this year—a staggering 84% increase over the same period last year (National Institute for Space Research, Brazil). Scientists and conservationists attribute the accelerating deforestation to President Jair Bolsonaro, who issued an open invitation to loggers and farmers to clear the land after taking office in January.⁣ ⁣ The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution. Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the Earth’s warming in check. ⁣ ⁣ The Amazon needs more than our prayers. So what can YOU do?⁣ ⁣ ✔ As an emergency response, donate to frontline Amazon groups working to defend the forest. ⁣ ✔ Consider becoming a regular supporter of the Rainforest Alliance’s community forestry initiatives across the world’s most vulnerable tropical forests, including the Amazon; this approach is by far the most effective defense against deforestation and natural forest fires, but it requires deep, long-term collaboration between the communities and the public and private sectors. Link in bio.⁣ ✔ Stay on top of this story and keep sharing posts, tagging news agencies and influencers. ⁣ ✔ Be a conscious consumer, taking care to support companies committed to responsible supply chains.⁣ Eliminate or reduce consumption of beef; cattle ranching is one of the primary drivers of Amazon deforestation. ✔ When election time comes, VOTE for leaders who understand the urgency of our climate crisis and are willing to take bold action—including strong governance and forward-thinking policy.⁣ ⁣ #RainforestAlliance #SaveTheAmazon #PrayForAmazonia #AmazonRainforest #ActOnClimate #ForestsResist #ClimateCrisis 📸: @mohsinkazmitakespictures /

A post shared by Rainforest Alliance (@rainforestalliance) on

Nonetheless, leaked documents have surfaced, attesting to the President’s encouraging behaviour towards the achievement of a ‘strong’ government presence in the Amazon rainforest. With the intent to build in the region- most prominently a hydroelectric plant, the documents suggest the Brazilian government had the agenda to ‘fight off international pressure’ to protect the Amazon.

Important to note is that if the fires are not controlled in a timely manner, devastating effects could ensue as the carbon emissions released into the atmosphere will speed up climate change.

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