Facing Amazonian Reality

The aerial view of the Amazon shows the indigenous resistance in the face of advancing destruction in the Arc of Deforestation.

Author: Ana Rosa
Leia em português.

I planned to visit the Xikrin people shortly after the Brazilian election, prioritizing exercising my citizenship and helping to remove Bolsonado from power before visiting the community. But for at least the three days after the election, Bolsonaro fans revolted against democracy were blocking roads and taking away my possibility to reach the Xikrin by road.

Perhaps I should thank Bolsonaro fans for my extra days in Marabá, where I was able to meet several people fundamental to Meli’s work, close new partnerships, and resolve issues of my health. But the greatest gift I received with this challenge was being able to accompany Bep-I, Bep-Kri and his wife, who had to use a helicopter to return from a health treatment.

Flying over Marabá during the dry season makes me sad. It is possible to see that crimes against humanity continue to happen in the region and nothing has been learned since the 1950s. The gigantic area deforested to give space for cattle, the secondary forest struggling against this scenario, the sad areas recently burned and dozens of fire spots (I stopped counting when I reached 18, during a trip of about an hour).

We are approaching Xikrin territory. It is time to rekindle hope.

The view is so beautiful that you begin to doubt. I see a cloud. I wonder if the fires have reached this far. But I am moved to see the strength of the Xikrin of Cateté protecting us against environmental crimes. The clouds I saw were not fire, they were water (sadly my camera didn’t capture good images of it, but you can get an idea on the right). They are the beautiful flying rivers, carrying the water from the trees to other regions of the planet. The pilot tells me that it is not possible to fly in the region around 7 o’clock in the morning, the flying rivers own the sky and only start sharing the wonderful view of the forest a few hours later.

The native people are the real guardians of the forest. Thank them for protecting the air, the rain, and the biodiversity – they have paid with their lives to do this ecosystem service. It is a bath of hope to work in partnership with indigenous communities and strengthen their struggles.

Follow more about this journey here!

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