The devastating and irreparable death of Aruká Juma (2-18-21)

The devastating and irreparable death of Aruká Juma



The death of the last man of the Juma indigenous people, the warrior Amoim Aruká, by complications from Covid-19, is heartbreaking. The Juma people have suffered numerous massacres throughout their history. From 15,000 people at the beginning of the 20th century, it was reduced to five people in 2002. A proven, but never punished, genocide that led its people almost to complete extermination. The last massacre took place in 1964 on the Aswan River, in the Purus River basin, perpetrated by Tapauá city’s traders interested in the sorghum and chestnut in the Juma territory. In the massacre more than 60 people were murdered, only seven survived. Members of the extermination group hired by the merchants reported shooting at the Juma people as if they were shooting at monkeys. The indigenous bodies were seen by other traditional people (ribeirinhos) in the region after the massacre, serving as food for wild pigs and countless decapitated heads scattered on the forest floor. The mastermind of the crime, aware of what had happened, boasted that he was responsible for ridding “Tapauá city out of these ferocious beasts”. This story must never be forgotten.

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