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24:40

Fighting Fire: The Indigenous Struggle For The Amazon *PARTNER CONTENT*

Brazil, Various locations in Brazil
December 03, 2019 at 04:50 GMT +00:00 · Published

The world watched in horror as the Amazon rainforest burned. Climate activists around the globe expressed outrage at the policies of Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro that have contributed the destruction of the 'lungs of the earth' - and while western politicians said they were appalled, this didn't prevent the European Union from still buying Brazilian beef. For indigenous communities in Brazil, this deforestation and war on nature being waged by corporations and the government is nothing new.

redfish looks at how these communities have been coping with, and fighting back against, the destruction of their environment for decades.

At a demonstration in Sao Paolo, a protester explained why fighting for this cause is of such importance to so many: "The land is sacred to us. We want to take care of it, the ones that care about money are the farmers, and the miners, for their own use. They think we are the enemies, but we don't want more than what's ours by right, and that's living in our lands, taking care of our animals and preservation."

Ubiratã is from the Paiter Suruí indigenous community, which experienced its first prolonged contact with whites in 1969. The results were disastrous, as the population decreased from about 5,000 to around 300 at the time. Ubiratã says that imported eating habits from that contact are partially to blame: "On many occasions, the community opted for industrialised food, rather than the food produced in the fields, and it ended up causing diseases within the community. The sugar, the salt - those things were not apart of our eating habits."

The Paiter Suruí are currently fighting back against illegal logging in their communities, which are situated in the state of Rondônia. But while they struggle, loggers like Franqueno have a different take: "Our income in Brazil is practically all agribusiness… it's agribusiness. So why have so many reserves, so much wealth that we can't exploit. There are a lot of indigenous reserves, and for what?"

24:40
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Description

The world watched in horror as the Amazon rainforest burned. Climate activists around the globe expressed outrage at the policies of Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro that have contributed the destruction of the 'lungs of the earth' - and while western politicians said they were appalled, this didn't prevent the European Union from still buying Brazilian beef. For indigenous communities in Brazil, this deforestation and war on nature being waged by corporations and the government is nothing new.

redfish looks at how these communities have been coping with, and fighting back against, the destruction of their environment for decades.

At a demonstration in Sao Paolo, a protester explained why fighting for this cause is of such importance to so many: "The land is sacred to us. We want to take care of it, the ones that care about money are the farmers, and the miners, for their own use. They think we are the enemies, but we don't want more than what's ours by right, and that's living in our lands, taking care of our animals and preservation."

Ubiratã is from the Paiter Suruí indigenous community, which experienced its first prolonged contact with whites in 1969. The results were disastrous, as the population decreased from about 5,000 to around 300 at the time. Ubiratã says that imported eating habits from that contact are partially to blame: "On many occasions, the community opted for industrialised food, rather than the food produced in the fields, and it ended up causing diseases within the community. The sugar, the salt - those things were not apart of our eating habits."

The Paiter Suruí are currently fighting back against illegal logging in their communities, which are situated in the state of Rondônia. But while they struggle, loggers like Franqueno have a different take: "Our income in Brazil is practically all agribusiness… it's agribusiness. So why have so many reserves, so much wealth that we can't exploit. There are a lot of indigenous reserves, and for what?"

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