|
|
|
|
Search: 
Latin American Herald Tribune
Venezuela Overview
Venezuelan Embassies & Consulates Around The World
Sites/Blogs about Venezuela
Venezuelan Newspapers
Facts about Venezuela
Venezuela Tourism
Embassies in Caracas

Colombia Overview
Colombian Embassies & Consulates Around the World
Government Links
Embassies in Bogota
Media
Sites/Blogs about Colombia
Educational Institutions

Stocks

Commodities
Crude Oil
US Gasoline Prices
Natural Gas
Gold
Silver
Copper

Euro
UK Pound
Australia Dollar
Canada Dollar
Brazil Real
Mexico Peso
India Rupee

Antigua & Barbuda
Aruba
Barbados
Cayman Islands
Cuba
Curacao
Dominica

Grenada
Haiti
Jamaica
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Belize
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Honduras
Nicaragua
Panama

Bahamas
Bermuda
Mexico

Argentina
Brazil
Chile
Guyana
Paraguay
Peru
Uruguay

What's New at LAHT?
Follow Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Most Viewed on the Web
Popular on Twitter
Receive Our Daily Headlines


  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Evangelical Missionary to Lead Brazil Office for Uncontacted Tribes

RIO DE JANEIRO – The government of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro confirmed on Wednesday the appointment of an evangelical missionary to head the office responsible for Brazil’s uncontacted indigenous peoples.

Despite an overwhelmingly negative reaction to the nomination from national and international organizations, the Indigenous Affairs Agency (FUNAI) designated pastor Ricardo Lopes Dias as director of the Uncontacted Indians Department.

The department is charged with protecting roughly 114 indigenous populations who live in isolation.

Dias, who studied anthropology at the Federal University of Amazonas, spent a decade evangelizing indigenous people in Amazonia’s Javari Valley, which is home to some uncontacted groups.

The pastor worked for years with US-based missionary organization New Tribes Mission (NTM), now known as Ethnos360.

Active in Amazonia since the 1950s, NTM has drawn complaints about its methods from leader of indigenous communities in the region.

CIMI, a missionary council affiliated with Brazil’s Catholic bishops conference, joined indigenous organizations in condemning the choice of Dias to run the Uncontacted Indians Department.

“The Bolsonaro government shows clears signs of abandoning the policy of respect for the right of free existence for those peoples,” CIMI said, accusing the president of seeking to use “religious fundamentalism as an instrument to make room in these areas for large landowners and miners.”

Dias has pledged not to use his new position to promote the evangelization of the uncontacted peoples.

“Historically, our families suffered from the activity of proselytizing missionaries, many of them connected to the NTM, which forcibly contacted our grandfathers through lies, violence and threats,” the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations in Brazilian Amazonia (Coiab) said in a statement.

Survival International, a global NGO concerned with the rights of indigenous peoples, also weighed in on the appointment of Dias.

“Putting an evangelical missionary in charge of the uncontacted Indians department of FUNAI is like putting a fox in charge of the hen-house. It’s an open act of aggression, a declaration that they want to forcibly contact these tribes, which will destroy them,” Survival’s Sarah Shenker said.

Last month, 600 leaders of 45 of Brazil’s indigenous peoples published an open letter denouncing the Bolsonaro administration for pursuing a program of “genocide, ethno-cide and eco-cide” with the aim of opening indigenous reserves to extractive industry and agri-business.

Bolsonaro has said that the roughly 14 percent of Brazilian territory set aside for the indigenous people is excessive.

 

Enter your email address to subscribe to free headlines (and great cartoons so every email has a happy ending!) from the Latin American Herald Tribune:

 

Copyright Latin American Herald Tribune - 2005-2020 © All rights reserved