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In the Land of the Yanomami, Halloween is real

Esta notícia está associada ao Programa: 
A new film from the campaign "Miners Out, Covid Out!" shows that mysterious diseases, evil spirits, scythes, guns and chainsaws are part and parcel of the mining invasion endured by the Yanomami people. Sign the petition and put an end to the terror.
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Halloween is celebrated on October 31. The day is marked every year by horror film releases, featuring ghosts, vampires and other monsters that mercilessly pursue their victims. The celebration is also an occasion for costumes and games enjoyed by young and old. However, while the terror of the cinema or trick-or-treating is pure entertainment, the experience of the residents of the Yanomami Indigenous Land is real—and played out with real scythes, guns and chainsaws.

On indigenous land, the encroachment of illegal wildcat mining is destroying the forest, polluting the rivers and spreading diseases, transforming the lives of the Yanomami and Ye’kwana into a nightmare from which they cannot awake.

To call attention to this dire situation, this Friday (Oct. 30) the Yanomami and Ye’kwana Leadership Forum is launching "A history of terror for the Yanomami", produced by the agency Wieden +Kennedy São Paulo, a partner in the campaign.

“You cannot sleep. You cannot hide. You don’t dare go in the river. There’s no use closing the road. There’s no use trying to isolate yourself. There’s no use praying. They won’t stop. They will keep coming. Even if they have to destroy everything,” narrates indigenous leader Dário Kopenawa, in the Yanomami language. He is the director of Hutukara Associação Yanomami and spokesman for the #MinersOutCovidOut campaign.

Dário Kopenawa says that the film is another tool to show the reality of suffering, threats, persecution and destruction that the communities are experiencing in the forest, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. “The entire world knows these Halloween films as works of fiction, but today the Yanomami and Ye’kwana people are living this nightmare in the flesh," says the leader.

Read more:

#MinersOutCovidOut: Yanomami and Ye'kwana leaders launch a campaign to remove miners from Yanomami Territory
Maurício Ye’kwana makes urgent appeal to the UN for removal of illegal miners from Yanomami Territory
“So what – there’s only one thing that can save us: miners out now!”

"We want to show a new generation our problems with deforestation, death threats, violation of the rights of indigenous peoples, as well as our culture, customs, rituals and traditions. So we are piggybacking on the tradition of Halloween to show the danger that we experience to Brazil and the world,” Dario concludes.

Miners Out, Covid Out

The film asks the viewer to sign the Miners Out, Covid Out campaign petition, whose aim is the removal of over 20,000 wildcat miners from the Yanomami Indigenous Land, who are also spreading Covid-19 among the villages.

Read more:

Covid-19 could infect up to 40% of the Yanomami communities surrounded by illegal mining
“So what – there’s only one thing that can save us: miners out now!
"The footprints of the heart eater, the lung eater have now appeared"

According to data from the Rede Pró-Yanomami e Ye’kwana, at the end of October, 1,201 cases had been confirmed, resulting in 13 suspected and nine confirmed deaths from the new coronavirus. It is calculated that 10,000 indigenous people have been exposed to the disease, which corresponds to approximately half of the population.

“The Yanomami and Ye’kwana Leadership Forum has raised our voice and our fight against what we are experiencing with the neglect of our federal government. Mother Earth is suffering, the entire Yanomami territory, together with the spirits of the many who have already died. This film is another reminder of our real suffering,” concluded Dário Kopenawa.

Translation: Glenn Johnston

Evilene Paixão