Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) - For the first time in history, indigenous groups have filed a request with the ICC in The Hague for it to investigate Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro over alleged genocide and crimes against humanity.
It was filed by APIB, a coalition of Indigenous associations across Brazil on August 9 (International Day of Indigenous Peoples). The organization demands that the International Criminal Court in The Hague investigate the crimes against indigenous peoples committed by President Jair Bolsonaro since he began his term in office in January 2019, with a particular focus on the time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Based on the precedents of the International Criminal Court, APIB calls for an investigation into crimes against humanity (art.7. B, h. K Rome Statute - extermination, persecution and other inhuman acts) and genocide (art. 6. B and c of the Rome Statute - serious physical and psychological damage and deliberately created conditions aimed at the destruction of indigenous peoples).
The dossier submitted consists of complaints from indigenous leaders and organizations, official documents, academic research and technical notes demonstrating the planning and implementation of an explicit, systematic and deliberate anti-indigenous policy by the government led by Bolsonaro.
"We believe that there is an approach in Brazil that amounts to crimes against humanity, genocide and environmental degradation. Given the inability of the Brazilian judicial system to investigate, prosecute and condemn these practices, we denounce these acts to the international community and mobilize the International Criminal Court", said Eloy Terena, legal advisor to the indigenous peoples of Brazil in the letter published by the Indigenous Mission Council (CIMI).
According to APIB, Bolsonaro has supported attacks on territories and indigenous peoples on several occasions since the beginning of his term in office. The facts that testify to the anti-indigenous actions of the Brazilian government range from the explicit refusal to guarantee land rights to laws, decrees and regulations aimed at legalizing illegal activities in indigenous areas and thereby causing conflict.
"APIB will continue to advocate the right of indigenous peoples to exist in their diversity. We are indigenous peoples and will not surrender to extinction," said Eloy, one of the eight indigenous lawyers who signed the declaration.
Violence against indigenous peoples is also documented in a report published by the Indigenous Mission Council (CIMI) in 2020 (see Fides, 1/10/2020). (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 11/8/2021)