Natives denounce illegal gold with alternative Oscar statuette

ONE The Yanomami Urihi Association said it will present the winners of the film’s highest award – made of solid bronze and covered in 24-karat gold – a figure of Omama, the community’s god, made without metal.

“In your culture, gold is synonymous with success. For my people, for the jungle and for the creatures that remain in the Amazon, it means death and destruction,” said the head of the Yanomami Urihi Association, Junior Hekurari Yanomami. video released Friday by ad agency DM9 and sent to about 20 Oscar nominees.

Nominees include Austin Butler, Brendan Fraser, Ana de Armas and Cate Blanchett.

Illegal mining has caused a humanitarian crisis in this community of 30,400 people, located in a reserve covering 96,000 square kilometers between the states of Roraima and Amazonas, in northern Brazil.

The video is part of the ‘Cost of Gold’ campaign, which aims to use the Hollywood spotlight to raise awareness of the problem on a global scale.

“Gold is extracted with mercury and more and more liters are poured into our rivers, killing our animals, our forests and our people,” warned Junior Hekurari.

“You have the opportunity to stand in front of millions of people and call on the world to end illegal gold,” he added, addressing the actors directly.

In 2021, about 54% of the gold traded in Brazil showed signs of illegal origin, according to the Yanomami Association.

Illegal logging increased especially during the term of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022), a supporter of opening up indigenous lands to this activity.

In addition, average annual deforestation has increased by 59.5% over the past four years.

At the end of January, the current government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declared a state of health emergency in the Yanomami lands, due to the severe conditions of malnutrition and disease affecting a large part of this people.

The humanitarian crisis is caused in part by the toxic products miners use, such as mercury.

Lula da Silva also authorized a joint operation by the armed forces and other institutions to expel the invaders from Venezuela’s border territory.

However, the Brazilian presidency announced on Friday that Lula da Silva will attend the 52nd General Assembly of Indigenous Peoples in Roraima on Monday, along with some two thousand Roraima leaders, including representatives of the Yanomami, Wai Wai, Yekuana . , Wapichana, Macuxi, Sapará, Ingaricó, Taurepang and Patamona.

This meeting intends to “deepen discussions on land protection, natural resource management and the 2023 agenda of the indigenous movement,” the Brazilian presidency said.

Also read: Brazil provided more than five thousand medical care to the Yanomami people

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