Brazil's indigenous communities are at risk of contracting COVID-19 and of not receiving adequate care due to invasions into their territories, the progressive dismantling of policies to care for indigenous peoples, and a weakened health system.
The state of Amazonas, where half of the population is indigenous, has the second highest mortality rate from COVID-19 in Brazil (as of April 2020). Only in Manaus, the capital, are there intensive care units and they are already overstretched.
Added to this is the increase in invasions and illegal activities in indigenous territories, such as illegal garimpo (mining), and wildlife and timber trafficking. In March, deforestation rates increased by almost 30%.
Also in March, a group of missionaries flew over areas inhabited by isolated and uncontacted indigenous peoples, violating an ordinance of the Federal Public Ministry to avoid contact with these peoples to prevent the spread of the virus.
AIDA provided the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) with detailed information on this series of violations of indigenous rights.