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Indigenous Amazonian men at the World Social Forum in Belém, Brazil in 2009. Photolangelle.org

Letter in Defense of the Amazon and Mother Earth, Against the Invasion of Capital, Extreme Violence and Green Scams

World Rainforest Movement 10 June 2021

Summary of the letter:

We, the participants came together for the meeting “Amazon Besieged: Between Extreme Violence and Green Scams- People of the Forest in Defense of Mother Earth and Against the Invasions of Capital”, to continue to break the silence imposed by the pandemic.

We denounce that we are besieged by direct violence as executed by illegal loggers, plantation and ranch owners and mega projects, exacerbated by the Brazilian fascist and genocidal government policy, and by indirect, yet no less severe, violence of “green capitalism” with its projects and programs – REDD+, REM, PSA and “Nature-based solutions”.

Since 1999, the “Government of the Forest” has transformed Acre into a worldwide showcase of the “green economy”. Meanwhile, its intervention in our territories has caused division, and our collective struggle in the defense of our land and rights has been pushed back. Despite the enormous amounts of money that the government received in relation to these policies, no indigenous lands have been demarcated. Instead, communities’ coexistence with the forest has been restricted, endangering our physical, cultural and spiritual survival. At the same time, the extraction of timber, livestock farming and deforestation continue to forge ahead.

Faced with this, we have decided to strengthen our process of reflection and resistance against the invasions of capital, including its green scams, in the Amazon. Our hope lies in our presence in our territories. Instead of accepting immediate “benefits” and “opportunities” which hold us hostage to the interests hidden behind “green capitalism”, our decisions shall be guided by long term considerations, considering the lives of the generations to come. We want to strengthen our alliances with urban communities which are also experiencing dispossession and violence and who, like us, fight for their territories and their ways of life. We appeal to civil society in Brazil and the entire world who have expressed solidarity with our fight for survival, the Amazon forest and life on Earth, and who reject the false “green” solutions.

Let us work and fight together. Communication, denunciation and mobilization are our weapons, and unity is our strength.

>>> Read and download the full letter in pdf

* In Brazil, the term extractivist communities refers to communities who sustain their life and culture with rubber tapping, gathering, hunting and fishing activities.

For further information, please contact: wrm@wrm.org.uy