Two weeks ago, REDD-Monitor posted a letter from indigenous peoples in Acre, Brazil announcing their support for the work of the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) in Acre. The letter was part of an on-going discussion in Brazil about REDD in Brazil and its impacts on indigenous peoples.
In a recent article, titled “Forest Diamonds”, Fabiano Maisonnave attacked CIMI. According to Maisonnave, CIMI “promotes divisions within tribes to bring down carbon credit schemes”, and “contributed to increased deforestation in the [Suruí’s territory] Seventh of September”.
CIMI’s executive secretary Cleber Buzatto sent Maisonnave a copy of a letter signed by six leaders of the Jaminawa indigenous people. Maisonnave wrote that,
They claim the letter criticising Cimi did not represent them and demanded an explanation of how money paid by KfW had been used.
The letter from the Jaminawa is available here in Portuguese. REDD-Monitor recently received an English translation of the letter.
The Jaminawa letter is in response to a July 2017 letter in favour of REDD. The July letter starts by stating that it was written by “indigenous and agroforestry leaders and agents of the Huni Kui, Jaminawa, Ashaninka, Nukini, Nawa, Yawanawa, Katuquina, Puyanawa, Shanenawa e Shawãdawa peoples, gathered here in Rio Branco, at the Forest Peoples’ Training Center on July 28-31, as part of the General Assembly of the Association of the Movement of Indigenous Agroforestry Agents of Acre (Assembleia Geral da Associação do Movimento dos Agentes Agroflorestais Indígenas do Acre– AMAAIAC)”.
The Jaminawa filed their letter with the public prosecution service demanding an investigation into people speaking on behalf of Jaminawa indigenous people without even consulting them beforehand.
There has been a series of letters and public statements in recent months about REDD in Brazil:
May 2017: Xapuri Declaration, opposing REDD and “any form of climate colonialism”.
July 2017: AMAAIAC letter (the “agroforestry agents”), in favour of REDD.
August 2017: Jaminawa letter, demanding an investigation into who is speaking on behalf of indigenous peoples and where the money went to from KfW for its REDD early movers programme in Acre.
September 2017: Indigenous peoples in Acre produce a statement in support for CIMI’s work in Acre, following a meeting in Feijó, Acre.
The Jaminawa letter is dated 21 August 2017, and the stamp at the top of the letter confirms receipt by the federal public prosecution service in Acre.
To the federal public prosecution service and other authorities
We Indigenous Jaminawa Peoples decided to write this document to demand that the authorities take action to clarify what is happening against the Indigenous Peoples in Acre. There are many people talking on behalf of us and asking for REDD money in our name but without consulting either the People or the community.
Recently, at the office of CPI AC [Comissão Pro Indio Acre] a letter was written titled “Open letter in reply to the declaration about SISA REDD+ and Indigenous Peoples in Acre”. In that letter two names of the Jaminawa People appear. The name of Rosimeire Afonso de Souza who signs as Jaminawa is not a Jamaniwa and we do not even know who she is. So she is a fake indigenous person who signs on our behalf. Our leaders were there in Xapuri with our support. José Correia Jaminawa who was also there is our leader, and he is even being pressured by FUNAI because of that.
We want to say that the agroforestry agents cannot talk on behalf of the communities because the People have our own leaders who talk on our behalf. We do not wantAMAIAC, or the government, or CPI to continue talking on our behalf. CPI gives money to them to sign such letters in order to divide the indigenous and attack our partners. If you want to say something you can just search for our leaders. We would also never talk on behalf of another People. Each People speaks for itself.
We know that a lot of money is arriving in the name of the indigenous and we even had a meeting with Mrs. Christina from the KfW Bank. She said she had already sent €26 million to the government, to the CPI, and to AMAIAC, but we do not know where this money went to. That’s why we want the authorities to investigate these NGOs to find out where this money went to. The money was applied for in the name of the indigenous without informing the indigenous peoples.
We demand that the speaking on behalf of our leaders is stopped, and that our leaders can participate in whatever activity to defend our people without being persecuted by anybody. We demand a financial report about all this money. We want to know who is keeping our money.
We want the authorities to take action
Undersigned, leaders of the Jaminawa People