With versions in English, Spanish, French and German, action marks the beginning of a new agenda for self-defense of indigenous peoples

A new video released today on social networks questions whether governments and companies are acting to defend or destroy the Amazon, massacring the native peoples who have inhabited the biome for centuries. In a parody of the movie news produced during World War II, the Climate War video shows which productive sectors are contaminated by illegal activities that deforest, burn, contaminate rivers and kill indigenous people. And it presents Jair Bolsonaro as a climate enemy who needs to be stopped and held accountable for his crimes before the consequences are too serious for the entire planet.

The format chosen, which is reminiscent of World War II, aims to make it explicit that this is not criticism of a country, but of a president. Just as the crimes of World War II were attributed to leaders of the governments involved (some of whom were even tried and convicted), the video Climate Wars attributes the crimes being committed in the Amazon to Bolsonaro and not to Brazil. In other words, the central point of the video is Jair Bolsonaro’s accountability for the attack on the global climate, the biodiversity of the forest, and the lives of native peoples. He shows that to stay on the side of the Amazon is a patriotic attitude, of defense of the country, to guarantee a living and viable Brazil for the Brazilians.

Despite the tone of satire, to relate environmental devastation and the advance of economic and criminal forces over the Brazilian forests to a war is no exaggeration. Miners, lumbermen and invaders of demarcated lands are a true army of destruction, invading territories that legally do not belong to them, encouraged by Jair Bolsonaro. In addition to an immediate threat to the survival of indigenous peoples, they represent a global risk due to the climatic consequences of the destruction of the largest rainforest on the planet.

Climate Wars also marks the beginning of a new self-defense agenda for indigenous peoples. After the pandemic, they will continue direct dialogues with European and North American governments and parliamentarians, as well as a new approach to China later this year. “We want them to support Brazil, but in the right way, which is helping us to stop the destruction of our ecosystems, natural resources, and the climate itself,” declares Sônia Guajajara, of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil-APIB, who made the video available on her social networks.

Fruit of the collaboration of Brazilian activists and artists – people who support the struggle of the APIB and understand the gravity and consequences of the environmental policy of the government of Brazil – the video has versions in English, Spanish, French and German. It does not take credit from the authors for two reasons: first, because the focus should be on the video’s message, not on people; and second, because of the assumed persecution of activists that the federal government has been promoting with the use of state and parastatal instruments.

Bolsonaro wants to force the evangelization of indigenous peoples. He has attacked our rights in the Supreme Court, defending the issue of the time limit. He is stubborn in fighting against the term indigenous peoples, without understanding that yes, we are Brazilians and we are also indigenous. No indigenous land – despite more than 600 processes – has been demarcated and many peoples have been forcibly removed from their territories. Ibama, ICMBio, Funai were dismantled and lost budget. Everything passed to the army, which was incompetent, while deforestation and burning broke the records of the decade. The Amazon Fund stopped, we lost the agreement with the European Union and investors threaten to take money from Brazilian companies. All this is the Bolsonaro and its policy that nobody understands, nor who is on the right wing.


7 APIB Demands Points

1. A five-year moratorium on deforestation in the Amazon.

2. Increased penalties for deforestation and other environmental crimes, including the freezing of assets of the 100 worst criminals.

3. Immediate resumption of the PPCDAm – Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon, shelved by the Bolsonaro government.

4. Demarcation of indigenous and quilombola lands and creation, regularization and protection of Conservation Units.

5. Restructuring of federal agencies responsible for the protection of the environment and indigenous rights (Ibama, ICMBio and Funai).

6. Imposition of the Forest Code (mainly the 2018 amendment to penalize production on illegal land)

7. Construction of a legal framework for Traceability of the Supply Chain, in order to give transparency to international and national commercial actors.

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