Target: Brazilian Minister of Justice, José Eduardo Cardozo
Goal: Increase protection for tribespeople and end intimidation killings
An 8-year-old girl wandered away from her family, members of the Awá tribe in the Amazon Rainforest, and fell into the hands of white loggers. As part of a campaign to drive tribes off of valuable land, the loggers tied the girl to a tree and reportedly laughed as they burned her alive.
The Awá tribe, numbering about 60 people, is like other Amazonian tribes in that they live in complete isolation from the modern world, following a nomadic lifestyle that changes with the seasons. A member from a neighboring tribe believed that the child’s encounter with the loggers would’ve been the first time she had ever seen white men–and the last.
These tribes are protected by laws defining their homes as protected reserves, which means that loggers are not allowed to use their land. Loggers have been ignoring these regulations, however, and are now trying to drive the tribes off of the land using intimidation methods. The last remaining tribes in Brazil are in constant danger, both because of the direct actions of the loggers and because logging depletes the animals and resources they need to survive.
It is reported that 450 tribespeople have been killed between 2003 and 2010, and the laws that would stop this are hard to enforce. There are not enough people or resources available to improve the protection of the tribes or the enforcement of the regulations, which is why Brazil must increase its efforts. It is time Brazil worked to curtail illegal logging and worked to better protect its last tribes. Urge the Brazilian government to guarantee the survival of these defenseless groups.
Dear Minister Cardozo,
Every single tribe living in the Amazon Rainforest today faces threats from all sides. Some of these are outside of our control and some are not. The barbaric killing of a young girl is a disgraceful and preventable crime, and sadly, it is not necessarily a rare one. The violence and killing being practiced by loggers is horrifying and inexcusable. It is both a breach of human rights and a direct attempt to destroy an entire group of people. It is time crimes like this ended, and the Awá, and others like them, were better protected.
Brazil must increase the number of personnel working to protect the tribes, and it must increase the amount of resources allotted to them. Although the area they must protect is vast, it is imperative that it is protected. The loggers must answer to justice, and the entire world demands that their brutal crimes be stopped. I urge you to increase all efforts to protect these endangered people, and guarantee them a life free from terrorism and fear.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Chany14 via Flickr