Indigenous human rights in Brazil – SALSA Letter to Dilma Rousseff
Our letter denouncing the systemic disregard for indigenous human rights in Brazil was delivered and officially registered in Brasilia on Tuesday, February 23 2016.
Carbondale, Illinois, USA, 18 February 2016
Presidente da República Federativa do Brasil
Gabinete do Presidente
Palácio do Planalto
Praça dos Três Poderes
Brasília – Distrito Federal 70150-900
Dear Madame President:
We, members of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America (SALSA),
an international professional association of anthropologists specializing in lowland
regions of South America, write this letter to denounce the Brazilian state’s systemic
disregard of the rights and well-being of indigenous peoples. We outline below some of
the most egregious breaches of indigenous and human rights, noting that these represent
only a small portion of the many affronts indigenous peoples of Brazil now face. We
address legal, economic, infrastructural, and territorial threats. Our examples are
gathered from documented reports on events occurring among the Munduruku, Guarani,
Xavante and Yanomami. In particular, we condemn the Proposed Constitutional
Amendment 215 (PEC-215), a recent legislative proposal threatening the demarcation of
indigenous lands, and several infrastructure projects, including the Belo Monte
hydroelectric project that is already before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
We strongly urge you and Brazilian authorities to immediately correct the systemic
disregard of Brazil’s indigenous citizens and wish to impress upon you the ethical and
legal urgency of doing so.