Mostly oblivious to the consequences that the coronavirus is taking on in Brazil, where the number of cases is constantly increasing, Bolsonaro has another open front in the Amazon where, due to his erratic policy in these times of pandemic, according to local politicians, putting at risk the survival of the Indians who populate the area.
It is, in the words of the mayor of Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas, Arthur Virgílio Neto, something close to “genocide” as a consequence of a “crime against humanity”. It is the result of the president’s “lack of leadership”, who according to this representative “does not care about indigenous peoples,” the burgomaster warned in a video released on social networks.
The state of Amazonas, which houses the largest number of indigenous people in Brazil (168,700, according to the last census of 2010), it is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, since until Tuesday it registered more than 22,130 cases and nearly 1,500 deaths from Covid-19.
We cannot admit that in the absence of President Bolsonaro’s interest, it is a great genocide that two traditional traditions of the Amazon and of our indigenous ethnic groups have been carrying more than 10,000 years of civilization. pic.twitter.com/WA4AadwdWy
– Arthur Virgílio Neto (@Arthurvneto) May 22, 2020
“Easy prey” for coronavirus
The mayor of Manaus was concerned about the situation of indigenous communities in the interior of the state and regretted that the pandemic is targeting “those naive people, who end up becoming easy prey for the new coronavirus to carry out its destructive work. “
According to the municipal government of Manaus, 150 cases of COVID-19 have been registered in indigenous villages in the state of Amazonas, which “they have no structure to fight the disease”.
“Every Indian who dies carries with him a part of history, which is not written but passed orally from generation to generation. If all Indians died, we would be losing more than ten thousand years of indigenous civilization in our region and it would be something unforgivable, “he warned.
Every Indian who dies carries with him a part of history, which is not written but passed orally from generation to generation
In an open criticism of the Bolsonaro government’s administration, Virgílio Neto lamented the lack of leadership on the part of the far-right leader, whom he accused of “not valuing” the culture of indigenous peoples. “He is more concerned with other things, but does not know how much we owe to the teachings left by the Indians throughout the centuries, “he said.
Bolsonaro speaks of “influenza”
The far-right leader is one of the most skeptical rulers about the severity of the pandemic, calling COVID-19 a “flu” and insists on criticizing social distancing measures adopted by regional governments to stop the pandemic and to request the normalization of activities.
Brazil which since Monday it is the third country with the most cases of COVID-19 in the world, with 20,112 deaths in two months. The Latin American giant added, until this Friday, 312,074 infections, making it the third most affected in the world, after the United States and Russia.
Arthur Virgílio Neto added that “since the Government’s concern seems to be only with the economy, the Indians can also help it develop because they are highly knowledgeable about nature and all the benefits that a sustainable exploitation of biodiversity can bring.”
In his speech, the mayor recalled the story of the Indian warrior Ajuricaba, an “Amazonian hero who resisted the Portuguese colonization as a great military leader” and who “preferred to throw himself into the waters of Buiuçu Bay and die before being humiliated by your enemies. ” “He is the symbol of all of us,” concluded the mayor.