Return Amazonian Lands to Indigenous People

Target: President Jair Bolsonaro

Goal: Restore ancestral territory to the indigenous Manoki people.

Living at the border of the Amazon forest, the Manokis almost disappeared after first coming into contact with white settlers. But as their numbers have begun to grow again over the last few decades and they fight to recover their original territory, they are cut off by mechanized farming and genetically modified crops. Brazil’s far-right leader, Jair Bolsonaro, has tried to revoke indigenous land rights by opening up their territory to large scale crop cultivation, which in turn may increase deforestation. Indigenous lands have only a 2% deforestation rate, and are better preserved than national parks.

The Manoki have also been fighting for three decades to expand their territory by 206,000 hectares of forested area that was traditionally part of their land. Official decisions have so far favored their claim, but the process is a lengthy one. In 2009, the Justice Ministry ratified the expansion, but the decision was never signed by the president. It is time that Bolsonaro acknowledge this ratification and give the Manoki’s their land, rights, and culture back.


Dear President Bolsonaro,

The Manoki have been routinely and consistently harmed by laws and regulations which limit their ability to live as an officially recognized indigenous population. It is time that changed.

In 2009, your Justice Ministry published an ordinance ratifying the expansion of the Manoki people’s land by 206,000 hectares that is a part of their traditional territory, yet you failed to recognize this and landowners currently fight the decision in court. It is high time that you side with the people living in your country instead of large corporations and money, and officially support the full demarcation of the entire territory owed to the Manoki people after over 100 years of persecution by settlers, farmers, and rubber tappers.

Your country, and the world, look to you to do the right thing.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Marcelo Camargo

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