This year AIDA has been supporting indigenous and riverine communities affected by the Belo Monte dam in Brazil facing the impacts of COVID-19. These communities have been particularly vulnerable to the ongoing pandemic and we have worked to expose their situation.
From the moment the pandemic reached Brazil, we have been compiling and disseminating information about the differentiated impact COVID-19 has on the indigenous peoples of the Xingu region. We created and sent various international alerts about the situation of the communities, which the governments have failed to address and which continues to threaten their right to health and integrity.
The communities affected by Belo Monte, due to the impacts of the construction of the dam, have become dependent on external support to have access to food, water and income sources. In the face of the pandemic, the necessary isolation to protect indigenous health became an obstacle to meeting their basic needs. In addition, the current state of dismantling of indigenous institutions in Brazil and the national government's policy did not allow for the development and implementation of a plan to protect the health of indigenous people, a much needed plan that would guarantee them adequate care and that would protect them from agents that transmit the virus.
AIDA exposed before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, how the mining activities, deforestation, and invasion of indigenous lands, together with the anti-environmental policy of the Brazilian government, became the channels of transmission of the COVID-19 for indigenous peoples in the region, and that continues to be a threat to their lives.
Note: you can find the alert (in Spanish) sent to the IACHR in this link -- https://aida-americas.org/es/recurso/alerta-a-la-cidh-sobre-la-situacion-de-pueblos-indigenas-de-brasil-ante-el-covid-19