The Yanomami of Brazil and Venezuela are one of the largest relatively isolated tribes in South America. Their territory extends for 9.6 million hectares in Brazil and 8.2 million hectares in Venezuela. Their land was demarcated following a long campaign led by Yanomami spokesman Davi Kopenawa, the global indigenous rights movement Survival and the NGO Pro Yanomami Commission.

Today, however, the Yanomami still face many problems: hundreds of miners, mostly in Venezuela, work illegally on their lands, while settlers and farmers have invaded the outer border of Yanomami territory in Brazil. The invaders transmit deadly diseases such as malaria to the tribe. Uncontacted members are particularly vulnerable to diseases brought from outside: following contact, in the past, entire isolated peoples were quickly killed by viruses.

The Yanomami are the best conservationists in their Amazon forest area, which on the Venezuelan side of the border is the second largest biosphere in the world; today, however, their territory is deforested and polluted with mercury.

In addition, the Brazilian Congress is currently debating a bill that, if passed, will open indigenous territories, such as Yanomami, to large-scale mining.


The Amazon region is home to the largest rainforest in the world and the richest river system. The Amazon River collects nearly 20 percent of the fresh water found on Earth, while the forest conditions and regulates the climate of the entire planet. 
The rainforest stores 90 to 140 billion tons of CO2, and its continued destruction causes huge quantities of this substance to be released into the atmosphere, with catastrophic consequences for the environment.
If today in the tourist maps of Peru we find the Yaguas National Park reported, it is also thanks to Liz Chicaje Churay, a Peruvian activist of the Bora people who for years fought so that this slice of the Amazon forest on the border with Colombia was protected from poachers. by illegal loggers and miners. Supported by her indigenous community, this 38-year-old woman had the courage, despite years of threats, to oppose the exploitation of these lands that the local population considers sacred, eventually gaining political support for the area to be declared a national park.

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