Sámi Parliament calls for Finland, holding the presidency of the Council of the EU, to react to the murder of the indigenous leader Emyra Wajãpi and violations of indigenous rights in Brazil

On Friday the 9th of August 2019, the Sámi Parliament of Finland presented its statement concerning the murder of the indigenous leader Emyra Wajãpi and the violations of indigenous rights taking place in Brazil.

For example according to information published on the website of the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs IWGIA, the Wajãpi leader was found killed in the neighbourhood of the village Mariry after approximately fifty gold miners had entered the lands of the indigenous Wajãpi people in the Amapá state in the northern part of Brazil. According to sources in the Internet, the miners pushed into the lands of the Wajãpi people, taking over the village of Mariry so that the inhabitants had to flee to the village Aramirã.

The events in Brazil have evoked extensive international attention, and, for example, Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has published a statement on the incidents. Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, has several times expressed his desire to harness extensive areas, for example of lands that have been traditionally used by indigenous peoples in the Amazon, for the use of various industries. Such measures would especially have negative effects on the indigenous cultures of the region and be violations of the indigenous rights listed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (see e.g. Article 10 on indigenous lands and territories).

In its statement, the Sámi Parliament also expressed its concern for the impact of the policy pursued by the president and the government of Brazil as concerns global climate. Here, the Sámi Parliament called for Finland to take a stand on the recent events, referring to the values Finland promotes both nationally and internationally in order to restrain climate change and enhance the implementation of human rights.

Further information

Tiina Sanila-Aikio, President of Sámi Parliament tel. +358 50 300 1780, tiina.sanila-aikio(at)samediggi.fi

Laura Olsén-Ljetoff, Secretary of International Affairs tel. +358 10 839 3155, laura.olsen-ljetoff(at)samediggi.fi

Statement regarding the murder of Emyra Wajãpi and violations of rights of indigenous peoples in Brazil