In the midst of the pandemic, Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado brought together artists and intellectuals from around the world to warn about the importance of protecting the native peoples of Brazil. 

Intellectuals, artists and authorities from around the world unite in a manifesto published this week. International names such as Paul McCartney, Madonna, Pedro Almodóvar, Brad Pitt, Sting, Sylvester Stallone and even Prince Albert II of Monaco, among others, sign the manifesto. At this moment, the action seeks to pressure Brazilian authorities regarding the importance of protecting the native peoples of the Brazil

Amid the pandemic, the extreme regions of Brazilian territory are even more at risk. In a manifesto published on social media, Brazilian photographer summons big names of today and warns about the need to combat the pandemic that has devastated the whole world.

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When being interviewed by telephone by the SP sheet, Sebastião Salgado cites astonishing numbers that show the seriousness of the problem in the most remote regions of Brazil, which historically lack surveillance and medical structure. “In Roraima alone, there are estimated to be around 20,000 prospectors within the Yanomami territory. There are loggers invading everywhere.”

International pressure, as happened in July and August 2019, during the forest fires in amazon, were instrumental in mobilizing the authorities to protect the world's largest tropical forest and its communities. 

Sebastião Salgado Manifesto

Photograph of an Ashaninka group, taken by Sebastião Salgado, during an expedition in the extreme west of Acre.

Manifesto for the protection of the indigenous peoples of Brazil

Brazilian celebrities also joined the cause led by the photographer and his wife, Lélia Wanick Salgado. Read part of the manifest below and help signing the petition.

“I am Sebastião Salgado and I ask you to join countless people around the world in making an urgent appeal to the leaders of Brazil. What brought all these people together during the pandemic is that they are afraid that the terrible virus that attacks the planet will be even more violent for the Indians of Brazil. Unprepared to face the diseases of whites, Brazilian indigenous people have been victims of epidemics for more than 500 years.

But now this threat is added to the relaxation of state surveillance, the invasions of illegal miners, loggers and ranchers, and the arson that has increased in recent weeks. THE Brazil it has the largest number of isolated indigenous groups on the entire planet and they are even more sensitive to the pandemic.

They need our support, which is why these people are asking the President of the Republic and the leaders of Congress and the Judiciary of Brazil to create a task force to remove illegal invaders from indigenous lands and to guarantee their original inhabitants the protection of Your health. Brazil owes a debt to its first inhabitants. This is the time for us to do what should have been done a long time ago.” Check out the video in full:

 

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More than 18 ethnicities have already been affected by the coronavirus

According to a report published by the journalist Maria Fernanda Ribeiro, in the portal Keeping an Eye on Ruralists, the pandemic has already reached 18 ethnic groups in the country, impacting the reality in villages and cities where there is a greater concentration of indigenous groups, such as in the states of Pará, Amazonas, Roraima and Amapá.

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