Note of condolence and solidarity
Avina, Hivos Brazil, IEB, WWF Brazil
VCA Brazil’s Alliance member organizations express their condolences and solidarity over the brutal murder of the indigenous activist Bruno Pereira and journalist Dom Philips whilst working in Vale do Javari, Amazonas, Brazil. to protect a threatened territory and to give visibility to the voices of indigenous peoples and traditional communities in the region.
Bruno da Cunha Araújo Pereira, an indigenist, dedicated a decade of his life to the defence of indigenous peoples of Vale do Javari. He did so whilst uniquely knowing the territory, with love for the cause, commitment, competence and responsibility, recognized by all the people who knew him with great affection.
Dom Phillips, an English journalist, was travelling through the Amazon collecting testimonials for a book. The two men were on a field trip to the surroundings of the Vale do Javari Indigenous Land, listening to the voices from the peoples of the forest and making their challenges to survive visible to the world.
The deaths of Bruno and Dom are not isolated cases. They are part of a devastating scenario linked to a strategy of persecution against the peoples of the forest – peoples who have proven to be the main groups responsible for the surveillance and protection of the Amazonic territories, and their partners. Like them, many defenders of life in the Amazon have fallen for opposing interests incompatible with standing forests. A preliminary report by the Pastoral Land Commission indicates that, in 2022 alone, 15 people were killed in conflicts in the Legal Amazon, and most of the victims were indigenous people.
We express our solidarity to Bruno and Dom’s families, all the people who loved them, and to all others who, like us, are in tune at this moment of deep sadness for these losses and collective mourning. We call for the global community’s support to take a stand in defending the territories of indigenous peoples, and traditional communities of the Amazon. We say no to the consumption of products derived from the destruction of the forest. We demand justice for Bruno and for Dom and urge for the protection of all the people who dedicate their bodies and minds to a struggle that belongs to us all.
We also express our special recognition and gratitude for the specialized and unique work carried out by the indigenous people of Vale do Javari and the indigenous organization UNIVAJA (Union of Indigenous People of Vale do Javari) who searched for Bruno and Dom, for their tireless fight to protect their territory, their lives, and the natural and non-material resources of the region necessary for survival.
We expect the national and international authorities to act diligently so that justice is served and the whole truth about this barbaric crime is brought to light. It is urgent to guarantee the safety and life of those who fight for and take care of the Amazon. We will continue in unity, knowing that the work and resistance of Bruno and Dom will always be present on our journey!