Attacks on Brazil's indigenous people rose sharply in 2021, report says

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Brasilia, Aug. 18 (BNA): Attacks on Brazil's indigenous people and invasions of their lands by illegal miners and loggers, mainly in the Amazon, increased dramatically in 2021, escalating an already "terrifying" situation, the Catholic Church's Indigenous Missionary Council (Cimi) said on Wednesday.

In its annual report on violence against indigenous people, Cimi detailed a dramatic intensification of abuses in 3 years, which has dismantled inspection and indigenous protection bodies, Reuters reported.

With more than 20,000 illegal gold miners on the Yanomami reservation on the border with Venezuela, invaders have begun armed attacks against indigenous communities, causing a climate of terror and deaths, including of children, Cimi said.

In Pará state, where surging wildcat gold mining has destroyed forests and polluted rivers, invaders have attacked Munduruku community organizations and tried to prevent their leaders from traveling to demonstrations in the country's capital Brasilia, it said.

There were 305 invasions into indigenous lands in 2021, compared to 263 cases the previous year, almost three times more than the cases reported by Cimi in 2018.

There were 176 murders of indigenous people, six fewer than in 2020, which had the highest number of homicides on record.

Suicides of indigenous people rose to 148 last year, the highest ever recorded.

Cimi also reported cases of murders carried out with extreme cruelty and brutality.

Funai, created in 1967 to protect Brazil's 300 tribes, half of which live in the Amazon rainforest, said in a statement that it acts with environmental and law enforcement agencies to combat illegal activities on indigenous lands.

To run Funai, Bolsonaro appointed a police known for helping farmers in land conflicts with indigenous people.