Rainforest people face ‘genocide’ as UN pushes to end racism on International Day to end racial discrimination
On International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, experts warn that Brazil’s Awá tribe face extinction unless more is done to protect their land rights, abused by illegal loggers and cattle ranchers for corporate gain, as the United Nations warned about the link between racism and conflict. The tribe is undergoing genocide.
“Racism and racial discrimination have been used as weapons to engender fear and hatred. In extreme cases, ruthless leaders instigate prejudice to incite genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Wednesday, March 21.
“The UN wants the ‘dignity and rights’ of human beings to be respected globally, however many indigenous communities continue to suffer from ethnic hatred,” stated Survival for Tribal Peoples on Wednesday, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Much of that ethnic hatred stems from the “corporate 1%.”
“The Awá depend on the forest for everything, but it is rapidly disappearing as intensive logging destroys their land.”
(Watch “Uncontacted Amazon Tribe: First ever aerial footage” embedded on this page, left.)
The Awá, a small tribe of around 355 members, have survived brutal massacres. They live in eastern Amazon, and are one of the world’s last remaining nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes.
Some members of the Awa remain uncontacted.
Corporate interests in Brazil’s resources, particularly from China supplying the United States, are affecting indigenous people, like the Awa.
(Watch BBC video, “Naked Amazon Awa tribe initiate BBC reporter.”- Note: This video contains graphic images.)
“The Awá are facing increasing invasions and if rapid emergency measures are not taken, the future of this people is extinction,” said Bruno Fragoso, from Brazil’s National Indian Foundation (FUNAI).
After a Brazilian judge visited the Awá territory to investigate the situation, he said, ‘We are dealing with a real genocide.’
Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said Wednesday, “The Awá are the world’s most threatened tribe. If their rights are not protected, they’ll only exist in the pages of history books.
“The UN’s call to wipe out racial discrimination is one step towards changing attitudes, and helping to keep the Awá’s forest home intact.”
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