Emboldened by the institutional assault upon indigenous rights being waged by the regime of Jair Bolsonaro, rural mafias are organizing an unprecedented wave of land invasions and attacks on native territories and communities.
Known in Brazil as the “Bolsonaro effect,” today’s assault on indigenous lands has also translated into barbaric violence against native peoples. Following a dispute in late January, an indigenous Parecis man from Mato Grosso state was attacked by three men who took him hostage and tortured him, brutally beating him before slamming his arm repeatedly in a car door and leaving him for dead. The man escaped to a local village and eventually received medical treatment, but was forced to have his arm amputated.
In his statement to authorities, the man claims that his assailants repeated that since Bolsonaro’s election, “it is now permitted to kill indians.” The attack is being investigated as a hate crime.
Less than two months into Bolsonaro’s presidency, we are witnessing the unfolding of a human rights and environmental catastrophe in Brazil.
These impacts are being felt first and foremost by vulnerable communities. If they are permitted to advance, their enduring, disastrous legacy will impact us all.