The Amazon fires caught the world’s attention as it flooded the news and our social media platforms this year. We heard people’s concerns regarding the environment, economy, and the political climate in Brazil. However, these fires are not only a large-scale catastrophe because they harmed indigenous communities, who are now displaced as a result.
The native tribes of Brazil have been protecting and living within the rainforest for centuries; however, livelihood has been put aside by capitalistic interests. They lost the forest, their crops, and the home they depend on for their wellbeing.
Their pain does not merely stem from commercial or environmental reasons, but because the rainforest holds cultural and religious importance to them.
We blame ecocide and environmental racism for these fires but that can only take place because the laws meant to protect indigenous land are not appropriately implemented. Simply put, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro encourages large agricultural firms’ unhealthy practices to secure their support. Still, at what price will he continue to aid the deforestation of the Amazon?
According to the Guardian, the fires broke out in 131 indigenous reserves. As a result, some indigenous communities are isolated or endangered.
Imagine having to lose the only home you know, and then learning that it was done for political support and capitalistic greed?