An indigenous Guardian of the Amazon has been shot dead and another comrade has been wounded during an ambush by armed loggers in the Brazilian Amazon.
Paulo Paulino Guajajara, also known as Kwahu Tenetehar, was fatally shot in the neck and died in the jungle. Another of his companions, Tainaky Tenetehar, was shot in the back and arm but managed to escape.
For years the Guardians of the Amazon have been patrolling their territory in the state of Maranhão, which is experiencing a heavy invasion of loggers. Uncontacted members of the Awá tribe also live in the area.
At least three Guardians had already been killed, and many of their relatives were also killed, in previous attacks by loggers and land grabbers on their territory, Arariboia, which is the last remaining forest area in the region.
At the beginning of the year, Paulo Paulino told Survival: “It makes me so angry to see it [the destruction of the jungle]! Do these people think they can come here to our home and do whatever they want with our forest? No. We will not allow it. We don't break into their houses and rob them, right? My blood boil. I feel very angry. "
In this video recorded for the Survival Indigenous Voice project, Paulo Paulino (back left) and Tainaky Tenetehar (back right) appear with the Guardians coordinator, Olimpio Guajajara, to warn that their lives they are in danger.
Sonia Guajajara, coordinator of APIB (Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil), said today: “It is time to say enough to this institutionalized genocide! Stop authorizing the bloodshed of our people! " Precisely at this time an APIB delegation travels Europe to denounce the racist and genocidal attacks that have been unleashed in Brazil against indigenous peoples since Bolsonaro assumed power. The delegation is scheduled to arrive in Spain on November 17.
Survival has been supporting the Guardians for many years. Survival Researcher for Brazil Sarah Shenker, who accompanied the Guardians on one of their operations earlier this year, stated today:
“Kwahu was completely dedicated to defending his jungle and his uncontacted relatives, despite the risks. He was also one of the most humble people I have ever met. He knew he was putting his life at risk, but saw no alternative, as the authorities did nothing to protect the jungle and uphold the rule of law. This is the reality that many indigenous people live in Brazil and the situation has worsened a lot under the presidency of Bolsonaro. He is rooting for loggers and land grabbers, while neglecting the defenders who protect the jungle and leaving them at the mercy of heavily armed and cruel logging mafias. "
“But the Guardians will not surrender, and neither will their allies. If President Bolsonaro thinks that this type of brutality will be victorious, he is very wrong. "