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Brazilian indigenous defender Pereira buried in a traditional see-off

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Leonardo Benassatto and Diego Nigro

PAULISTA — Brazilian indigenous defender Bruno Pereira killed this month while investigating the threat to Amazon's isolated tribes The hometown of Pernambuco in the northeastern part of the country.

Pereira, the father of three 41-year-olds, was buried after a funeral attended by a family member and an indigenous Brazilian in honor of a man who spent his career studying and advocating indigenous people. I did.

Pernambuco and Sports Recife Approximately 20 Xukuru indigenous men and women sing and dance to Pereira while his picture is placed on a coffin covered with the flags of the soccer team. I told you.

"We are here to honor Bruno, the warrior who will be the martyr of all of us today, for the cause of the indigenous people," Xukuru said. Leader Marcos Luidson said. Pernambuco community.

Pereira began working in the Brazilian indigenous agency Funai in 2010 in the Jabari Valley, a remote area of ​​the world's least contacted tribes.

Where Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips were killed earlier this month while studying indigenous efforts to protect themselves from illegal hunters, miners, loggers and fishermen. was.

Pereira took a vacation from Funai in 2019 after working with federal police in an operation to destroy 60 boats used by illegal miners. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro scolded law enforcement agencies earlier that year for destroying equipment seized from illegal miners and fellers.

After Borsonaro took office in 2019, Pereira's dismissal as a senior Funai official was part of a wave of budget cuts with his agency staff.

Pereira later helped the indigenous people, a group patrols the Javanese Valley for illegal acts by outsiders, dangerous work that poses multiple threats to him.

According to the Global Witness of the Human Rights Group, the killings of indigenous land defenders surged to 10 in both 2019 and 2020, but totaled 5 over the last two years.

At the funeral, Xukuru leader Luidson sought accountability to Pereira, Phillips, and all the indigenous defenders who were killed.

"How many other leaders have been killed? How many warriors have been killed around the battle for the invisible territory? ... and many more," Luidson said. (Report by Leonardo Benassatto and Diego Nigro, additional report by Jake Spring and Anthony Boadle, written by Brendan O'Boyle, edited by Rosalba O'Brien)