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Urgent appeal to the President of Brazil and to leaders of its legislature and judiciary

Sebastião and Lélia Salgado, along with other personalities, call for help for Brazil's indigenous peoples, who are at serious risk of genocide due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Korubo english
© Sebastião Salgado/Agentur Focu

The indigenous peoples of Brazil face an extreme threat to their very survival because of the coronavirus pandemic. Five centuries ago, these ethnic groups were decimated by diseases brought by European colonizers and, since then, numerous epidemiological crises have slaughtered their population. Now, with this new scourge spreading rapidly across Brazil, indigenous peoples, such as those who live isolated in the Amazon Basin, may disappear completely since they have no means of combating Covid-19.

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Their situation is doubly critical because the territories reserved by law for the exclusive use of indigenous tribes are now being invaded by miners, loggers and cattle ranchers. These illicit activities have accelerated in recent weeks because the Brazilian authorities charged with protecting these lands have been immobilized by the pandemic. As a result, there is nothing to protect indigenous peoples from the risk of genocide caused by an infection introduced by outsiders who enter their land illegally.

Such is the urgency and seriousness of the crisis that, as friends of Brazil and admirers of its spirit, culture, beauty, democracy and biodiversity, we appeal to the President of Brazil, His Excellency Mr. Jair Bolsonaro, and the leaders of Congress and the Judiciary to take immediate measures to protect the country’s indigenous populations against this devastating virus.

These peoples are part of the extraordinary history of our species. Their disappearance would be a tragedy for Brazil and an immense loss for humanity. There is no time to lose.

Respectfully,

Prince Albert II of Monaco (President of Prince Albert II Foundation) / Tadao Ando (Architect, Japan) / Pedro Almodóvar (Movie director, Spain) / Juliette Binoche (Actress, France) / Gisele Bündchen (Model, Brazil) / Chico Buarque (Writer, composer and singer, Brazil) / Santiago Calatrava (Architect, Spain) / Naomi Campbell (Model, UK) / Glenn Close (Actress, US) / Alfonso Cuarón (Movie director, Mexico) / Christo (Artist, US) / Lord Norman Foster (Architect, UK) / Richard Gere (Actor, US) / Gilberto Gil (Singer, Brazil) / Dr. Jane Goodall DBE (Founder, The Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace, UK) / Alejandro González Iñárritu (Movie director, Mexico) / Tarja Halonen (former President of Finland) / Nicolas Hulot (Environmental activist, France) / David Hockney (Artist, UK) / Lena Herzog (Artist, Photographer, Germany) / Werner Herzog (Movie director, Germany) / Luciano Huck (TV Host, Brazil) / Sir Jonathan Ive (Designer, UK) / Bianca Jagger (Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, Nicaragua) / Kerry Kennedy (President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights) / Maritta Koch Weser (Anthropologist and environmentalist, Germany) / Rem Koolhaas (Architect, Netherlands) / James Lovelock (Scientist, environmentalist, UK) / Thomas Lovejoy (Scientist, environmentalist, US) / Madonna (Singer, US) / Terrence Malick (Movie director, US) / Michael Mann (Film producer, US) / João Carlos Martins (Pianist and conductor, Brazil) / Sir Paul McCartney (Singer, UK) / Fernando Meirelles (Movie director, Brazil) / Beatriz Milhazes (Artist, Brazil) / Jean Nouvel (Architect, France) / Carlos Nobre (Scientist, Brazil) / Marc Newson (Designer, Australia) / Renzo Piano (Architect, Senator-for-life, Italy) / Brad Pitt (Actor, US) / Elizabeth de Portzamparc (Architect, Brazil) / Christian de Portzamparc (Architect, France) / Matthieu Ricard (Writer, photographer and Buddhist monk, France) / Yasmina Reza (Writer, France) / Elisabeth Rehn (Minister of State, Finland) / Alan Riding (Writer, Brazil/UK) / Jeffrey Sachs (Economist, US) / Trudie Styler (Actress, UK) / Sting (Singer, UK) / Meryl Streep (Actress, US) / Susan Sarandon (Actress, US) / Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado (Designer, Brazil, France) / Sebastião Salgado (Photographer, Brazil, France) / Julian Schnabel (Artist, US) / Patti Smith (Singer, US) / Sylvester Stallone (Actor, US) / Oliver Stone (Movie director, US) / Guillermo del Toro (Movie director, Mexico) / Mario Vargas Llosa (Writer, Nobel laureate, Peru) / Caetano Veloso (Composer and singer, Brazil) / Wim Wenders (Movie director, Germany) / Ai Wei Wei (Artist, China) / Oprah Winfrey (Actress, producer and TV Host, US) / Timothy Wirth (Former Senator, President Emeritus UN Foundation, US).

You are invited to sign this appeal here: https://bit.ly/indigenas2020eng

Responsible for this publication: Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado and Sebastião Salgado.