Two weeks after the release of new government data showing a sharp rise in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, hundreds of indigenous women occupied a government building in Brasilia on Tuesday to protest what they called President Jair Bolsonaro’s “genocidal” environmental policies targeting their communities. The following day, a contingent of over 1,000 indigenous women joined some 100,000 other demonstrators in Brazil’s Women’s March on the streets of the capital.
“We are all warriors on the front lines of this struggle against today’s political situation, which is so adverse to our peoples,” said Sonia Guajajara, who works with the organization convening the march, the Articulation of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples, in a press statement. “We also aim to raise awareness among the international community to build support for Brazil’s indigenous peoples.”
Brazil’s portion of the Amazon lost more than 1,330 square miles of forest cover between January and June, marking a 39 percent increase from the same period last year, according to Brazil’s National Space Research Institute, the government bureau tasked with tracking deforestation data.