Society

‘Disappearance’ of indigenous community sheds light on Yanomami gold mining drama

After accusing trespassing gold miners of raping and murdering a young indigenous girl, entire Yanomami village 'disappears' and causes commotion. Encroachment of illegal gold mining is an existential threat to indigenous groups

'Disappearance' of indigenous community sheds light on Yanomami gold mining drama
BRASÍLIA,DF,06.05.2022:PROTESTO-“SOS-YANOMAMI” – Protesto de nome “SOS Yanomami” em frente a Funai em Brasília (DF), nesta sexta-feira (6). Os Yanomami que estavam desaparecidos, foram encontrados, e a Polícia Federal dará uma coletiva para explicar a situação. (Foto: Matheus W Alves/Futura Press/Folhapress)

The mysterious fate of a small Yanomami indigenous community in the northern Brazilian state of Roraima left much of the country puzzled, outraged, and keen for answers in recent weeks. 

On April 28, in response to allegations that a 12-year-old Yanomami girl had been raped and murdered by gold miners after being taken from a village on the Aracaçá River, agents from the Federal Police and indigenous authorities visited the community and were left dumbstruck by what they found. The village had been torched, and the 25-strong community was nowhere to be seen.

Júnior Hekurari Yanomami, an indigenous leader and...

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