Note on the murders of Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips

BRAZIL-

CONICWe add our outcry of sadness and repudiation to the voices of all the indigenous movements, forest peoples, and human rights movements. We join all those who, despite the current situation in Brazil, have not lost their humanity and are in solidarity with the suffering of the families of Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips.

The atrocity revealed by the murders of Bruno and Dom unveils what indigenous communities have long denounced: the permanent and constant process of elimination of these peoples and of those who defend them. Initially, we felt anguish for the lack of answers about what had happened to Bruno and Dom. Now the grief has turned into painful mourning. The same grief and mourning we feel when faced with the silence and recklessness of the Brazilian Government to the indigenous claims for territory and the right to their lifestyle.

The deaths of Bruno and Dom, the indigenous genocide, the destruction of the forests, and the lack of definition regarding the rule of law concerning the indigenous territories are expressions of our civilizational decay. Yet, from Chico Mendes until today, Brazil has changed little or nothing and continues to be a country of barbarism, where land grabbers and the like continue to impose a reality of death and persecution on those who dare to challenge them. 

This June 16th, many communities celebrate Corpus Christi. It is a day when our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters remember the sacrament of the blood and body of Jesus. 

For the Christian tradition, the sacrament relates directly to the grace of life and the possibility of God’s reconciliation with us. Inevitably, the making of the traditional Corpus Christi carpets, which delight us so much, will be marked by deep sorrow. While we admire the tapestry’s beauty, diversity, and creativity, we must confront the horror of the current Government’s purposeful inaction. The indifference, deliberate incompetence, and dehumanizing insensitivity of the President lead to outcomes like the cruel murders of Bruno and Dom. 

We vehemently repudiate all those statements intended to defame Bruno and Dom, trying to blame them when the responsibilities belong to the State and the Government.

To the families of Bruno and Dom and the indigenous communities of the Javari Valley, our embrace and respect.

We call on our national and international ecumenical partners to strengthen the pressure on the State so that measures be taken to guarantee the protection of all indigenous peoples, especially the indigenous peoples of the Javari Valley. Likewise, we demand a thorough investigation of these brutal crimes. The arrest of the perpetrators is not enough if the principals are not brought to justice.

CONIC – National Council of Christian Churches of Brazil

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