Coronavirus

Is Covid-19 accelerating a genocide of Brazil’s indigenous people?

Indigenous chief Zé Carlos died from Covid-19, yet his death is nowhere to be found on official coronavirus records

coronavirus Indigenous Brazilians cancel ceremonies due to Covid-19 fears
São Félix do Xingu, Pará. Photo: Thiago Gomes/Ag. Pará

On June 8, chief José Carlos Ferreira Arara, known as Zé Carlos, felt shortness of breath and fatigue. He was taken from his village in the Amazonian state of Pará to the São Rafael General Hospital, in Altamira. As his condition worsened, there were no vacancies at the regional hospital’s intensive care unit — but no time to transfer him to another facility. He died on June 9 of cardiac arrest, due to complications resulting from a coronavirus infection. He was 41.

Information on Zé Carlos’ death spread on Facebook and in the media. Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), an environmental...

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