Published On: Tue, Apr 12th, 2022

Two Yanomami die in conflict over Amazon rainforest mining

A clash over mining in the Amazon region between two Yanomami Indigenous groups has left two people dead and five injured, according to the president of the local health council.

In a video posted Monday by the G1 online news site, Júnior Hekurari said local prospectors had armed members of the Tirei community and incited them to attack members of the Pixanehabi, who he said opposed mining in the protected territory, where such activity is now illegal.

Hekurari, himself Yanomami, accused prospectors of “encouraging conflict” between the two groups.

The Yanomami people live in a rainforest region that straddles the Brazil-Venezuela border. The clash broke out in the Brazilian state of Roraima.

The Yanomami have faced growing pressure from illegal gold prospectors, which has led to an uptick in violence and spread of disease.

Brazilian federal prosecutors said in a statement Monday that they filed several requests to federal courts last month demanding the government step up operations to protect the Yanomami from the effects of illegal mining on their territory.

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