INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN NORTHEAST BRAZIL TODAY
The Northeast is the Brazilian region with the oldest European colonization; therefore, the indigenous people who live here are also those who have the longest time of contact with the colonial world.
This region, at the eastern end of the Americas, is home for 25% of the approximately 1.2 million Brazilian Indians, with more than 70 ethnic groups and 150 different territories.
With a long process of colonization and development of the region, the indigenous people have lost almost all of their territory. Over the past thirty years, they managed to start recovering part of it, which represent only 1.5% of the full extension of Indigenous Lands in Brazil.
Living in exiguous territories invaded by agropastoral, agro-industrial and mining enterprises, the people in the Northeast-East of Brazil have managed to demonstrate that, in the recuperated areas, can foster environmental recovery and sustainable use, becoming responsible for the preservation of two of the most degraded and threatened biomes in the tropics: the caatinga (the Brazilian semi-arid) and the Atlantic Forest (the tropical biome of forests with the greatest latitudinal extension on the planet).
However, as they still suffer from the effects of a long history of invasions, violent conflicts, cultural transfigurations and disallowance of their identities, they are still part of the most impoverished and most vulnerable populations, dependent on precarious economic in an economy marked by extreme forms of predatory exploitation of resources (soil, water, and even air) and the workforce.
As they are not directly linked to the global interest in the preservation of the Amazon nor have the "exotic" profile usually identified in the images of indigenous people, they do not enjoy the same attention and visibility international standards.
In the current global pandemic situation, these peoples have even fewer resources, economic or political - because of their constant confrontational position with the state and its dominant segments - to access means of financial security, food or health resources. Living in cities or highly populated areas, they find themselves without any state support, not even health protection equipment, becoming extremely vulnerable to infection.
We count on your solidarity to protect thousands of children, women and elderly who live in these territories and are the real cure of the land.
José Augusto Sampaio