Human Rights Council: Munduruku leader urges the UN to protect the Amazon Forest against the return of illegal gold miners

19 Sep, 2023 | Press Releases

Geneva, 19 September 2023

On the occasion of the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous, substances and wastes, held at the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), NGO with consultative status at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), gave voice to the Munduruku’s leader, Alessandra Korap Silva, who alerted about ongoing environmental devastation in the Amazon forest, in particular due to the persistent threats and damage caused by illegal gold miners – “garimpeiros” – to the ecosystem and its indigenous communities. While acknowledging the efforts by the new federal government of Brazil over the last months in order to remove gold miners from Indigenous lands, she denounced the fact that they have now returned”.

English translation of the statement by Alessandra Korap Silva, on behalf of NPWJ:

“My name is Alessandra Korap Silva and I speak to you on behalf of the organization “No Peace Without Justice.” I am an indigenous woman who fights to defend our lands and the right to life, but what I see are our dirty rivers, contaminated fish and our people suffering from it as a consequence.

How can we solve problems that we did not create? Fish contaminated by mercury, mothers’ milk for children contaminated by mercury.

And after all our complaints, which we made here also, last year, with our Yanomami, Kayapó, Munduruku representatives, about gold mining, even the new government of Brazil failed to solve this.

This new government tried to remove the gold miners, but they are coming back. Our people and the fish need to feed, not from dirty water or mud but from clean, living water.

We urgently need the UN to monitor our situation, our rivers and the Amazon forest.

Thank you ».