The reasons of the Karipuna

Publish date 07-01-2023

by Chiara Vitali

Adriano Karipuna traveled thousands of kilometers to arrive in Italy. Behind him he left the Amazon, where he usually lives, and dozens of relatives constantly threatened with death. He is the leader of the Karipuna, an indigenous people who live in the Brazilian state of Rondonia, on the border with Bolivia.
He arrived in Milan thanks to COSPE, an international cooperation association that has been involved for years alongside the Brazilian indigenous peoples, which has organized a series of meetings to spread awareness of what the Indians are experiencing.
"The Amazon forest is dying - this is how Karipuna's testimony begins - we are fighting to defend our land but it is increasingly difficult, we are invaded and threatened by those who want to exploit it for economic purposes".

The main danger for the Amazon is deforestation, in addition to fires, accentuated this year by the climate crisis. Trees are cut down to make room for crops, especially soybeans, a fundamental component for farm feed, and to obtain land on which to graze animals: it is estimated that 20% of the forest has already been lost for these reasons . For the Karipuna, on the other hand, the forest is a vital habitat to be defended and respected. Adriano explains that his people "have learned that to take something from the Amazon, you have to ask permission". The Karipuna have known first-hand what it means to disappear: at the beginning of the twentieth century there were a few thousand, then the rubber farmers arrived, bringing with them viruses and violence. In 1970, Karipuna could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Now, however, they are growing again, reaching the age of sixty, and they need help».

How to get close to a land so far away? COSPE and Adriano Karipuna have built a response together, with different nuances. You can verify the production chains of the meat we consume, which has a central role for the future of the Amazon. We can keep ourselves informed and then listen to the voice of those who talk about a distant land, which isn't that far away.

Chiara Vitali
NP October 2022

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