Indigenous communities living in Amazon’s Xingu river basin are reportedly putting aside long-running ethnic conflicts to unite against Jair Bolsonaro’s administration.
Representatives of 14 indigenous groups and four riverside reserves in the basin met in the Kubenkokre village last week.
Forest fires, thought to be deliberately started, are currently ravaging the Amazon, with critics blaming Jair Bolsonaro’s government for encouraging people to clear the land for farming, logging and mining.
The landmark meeting of indigenous communities was hosted by the Kayapós group, one of the largest communities in the river basin, according to BBC Brazil.
“Today we have only one enemy, which is the Brazilian government, the president of Brazil, and the invasions of non-indigenous people,” Mudjire Kayapó, one of the leaders present, told the broadcaster.
The participating communities have decided to form a representative council, to strengthen their collective political voice.
The Kayapós invited representatives of the Panara people to the meeting, despite the two groups having fought violently in the past.
The Kayapós notably massacred the Panaras in 1968, during a fight in which they used firearms despite the latter tribe being armed only with arrows.
“We killed the Kayapó, the Kayapó killed us…but we didn’t know what was happening….we didn’t know about that [white] threat yet,” said Sinku Panara, one of the Panara leaders.
“Then we cool our heads, reconcile, talk to each other again and we will not fight anymore.