Rio de Janeiro (AFP)
Indian leader Raoni on Friday urged help from the international community to help "get rid of as soon as possible" the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, whom he considers responsible for serious fires in the Amazon.
"We have to get him to leave as soon as possible," said the cacique in an interview conducted by AFP on the phone from Rio, before he left Germany for the Amazon.
"I think the French president (Emmanuel Macron) and other international forces can push for the Brazilian people to send (Jair) Bolsonaro and Congress to vote for his dismissal," he added.
The cacique made these declarations while the Amazon, the biggest rainforest of the planet, is in the grip of serious fires, provoked essentially by a deforestation which accelerates and is aggravated by the dry season.
"I'm asking for outside help, I want a general mobilization to extinguish these fires, we can not let it burn like that," said Raoni, who "never saw that ".
"It's a disaster, what it is doing with us," continued the cacique about the far-right president who promotes the development of agriculture and mining on indigenous lands .
"In time, the presidents of Brazil did not lead bad actions, did not incite to destruction like that, and now this new president does everything wrong".
"He wants to finish with the forest, with us (the natives), it's really terrible what he does," said the leader of the Kayapo people.
"He's the one who excites these people, like the farmers, they listen to him, they think they have all the rights and start burning the forests" (for crops), says the 89-year-old chef. who tirelessly fights for the respect of the rights of indigenous communities.
"This is the case for the wood cutters, the gold diggers, they all loose because his word drives them to destroy the forest much faster," he accused.
- "It's the planet that will be on fire" -
But the farmers "should understand that if they continue like this, there will be no more oxygen for us to breathe".
"When I see all these fires, I am very sad," adds this international figure of the defense of the Amazon.
"If we do not save the little bit left (of the Amazon), I guarantee you that we will have even bigger fires and the planet will be on fire." This is only the beginning ", warns Raoni Metuktire, who had made a long tour in Europe in May to support her fight.
On Thursday, President Bolsonaro accused President Macron of having "a colonialist mentality" after he announced that the summit of the G7 Biarritz this weekend would focus on fires in the Amazon.
Asked about these statements, Chief Raoni replied, "President Bolsonaro is lying, it is he who really creates the problems, which accentuates these destructions, these fires, the mining exploration.It is he who is in the process of colonize (the Amazon), and not Macron ".
Some 700 new fires were recorded in "the lung of the planet" in 24 hours Thursday, according to figures released Friday by the National Institute of Space Research (INPE), a Brazilian organization that observes deforestation in the Amazon.
President Bolsonaro has authorized by decree on Friday the mobilization of the army in the Amazon to fight against fires, in response to growing international pressure against Brazil.
The measure authorizes for a period of one month the governors of the states concerned to use the army for "identifying and fighting against fires", as well as for "preventive and repressive actions against environmental offenses ".
"We will mobilize when we go back to Brazil.We will make a document and do a fundraiser to end all these problems of attacks against the environment," concluded the old Indian chief on the eve of his return to his state of Mato Grosso (center west).
© 2019 AFP