Presentation Date

Spring 2024


The following document covers how the rise of Jair Bolsonaro, based around a coalition of expansionist cattle ranchers and extractive industry representatives, has led to the massive explosion of illegal gold mining within the Yanomami in the Amazon. This increase in mining has led to a rapid increase of malnutrition, malaria, and mercury poisoning within the Yanomami population, as well as a significant rise in violence and human rights abuses. Other topics covered include, the previous increase of illegal mining on Yanomami land in the 1980s, Bolsonaro's anti-Indigenous rhetoric while campaigning for presidency, the role of the U.S. in Operation Car Wash, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s initial attempts to ameliorate the current crisis, and importance of Indigenous peoples for preserving biodiversity. The document concludes with an interview with Brazilian journalist Carlos Messias, who has previously visited multiple Indigenous communities in the Brazilian state of Acre. While these groups haven’t directly faced mining in their territories, they have faced similar issues in terms of deforestation and the murder of land protectors in their region. As with most Brazilian Indigenous issues, these topics have received minimal coverage in Western media and open a window into a wider understanding of the issues facing the Yanomami community, and Brazilian Indigenous communities as a whole. This interview is unedited and was conducted with the intention of making more primary sources on Brazilian Indigenous issues available to Western audiences.

Included in

Anthropology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.