Indigenous Brazilian Woman Cries As Amazon Rainforest Burns Behind Her

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 25 Aug 2019 14:05
Indigenous Brazilian Woman Cries As Amazon Rainforest Burns Behind HerIndigenous Brazilian Woman Cries As Amazon Rainforest Burns Behind HerDaniel Schneider/Twitter

As fires in the Amazon rainforest continue to burn, more and more reports from the area continue to emerge.

Footage from the forest has been shared on social media of an indigenous Pataxó woman, filmed delivering a passionate and emotional speech in front of the burning forest, criticising Brazil’s authorities and those responsible for allowing the devastation to carry on.


Many locals say the forest fires are being started deliberately, as a way of clearing space to make room for more farms and cattle ranches. This is said to be a deliberate move by Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsanaro in order to boost the country’s economy.

You can watch it here:

In the video, the Pataxó woman says:


For two years we’ve fought to preserve [our reservation] and these assholes came in and burned it down.

They are killing our rivers, our sources of life, and now they have set our reserve on fire. Tomorrow we are closing the roads and I want all the media here to see this.

Since the fires have garnered worldwide attention, President Jair Bolsonaro is said to be deploying military troops for ‘unprecedented’ operations to try and extinguish the fires. Although he spent Friday night at a comedy club while a pre-recorded speech aired to the nation, according to The Guardian.

Indigenous Brazilian Woman Cries As Amazon Rainforest Burns Behind HerIndigenous Brazilian Woman Cries As Amazon Rainforest Burns Behind HerDaniel Schneider/Twitter

According to Brazil’s defence minster, Fernando Azevedo, 44,000 troops will be made available for the operation, heading to four Brazilian states which have asked for federal help to try and contain the fires, MailOnline reports.


Azevedo said the military’s first operation will be to deploy 700 troops to the area around Port Velho, the capital of Rondonia. They will reportedly be using two C-130 Hercules aircraft, which are capable of dumping 12,000 litres (3,170 gallons) of water on the fire at a time.

Agreeing to deploy the military, who will ‘act strongly’ to control the fires, President Bolsonaro said, via ITV News:

The protection of the forest is our duty.

We are aware of that and will act to combat deforestation and criminal activities that put people at risk in the Amazon.

We are a government of zero tolerance for crime, and in the environmental field it will not be different.


However, leaked documents suggest Brazil’s president has been actively encouraging a strong government presence in the Amazon region. Intending to build bridges, motorways, and a hydroelectric plant in the rainforest, the leaked documents suggest the Brazilian government is hoping to ‘fight off international pressure’ to protect the Amazon.

If the fires are not controlled, however, the loss of such a huge area of the rainforest could contribute to a doomsday ‘dieback‘ scenario, according to scientists, whereby the carbon released into the atmosphere will speed up climate change even more.

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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: News, Amazon, Brazil, rainforest, woman


The Guardian and 2 others
  1. The Guardian

    Bolsonaro enjoys comedy club outing as Amazon fires rage on

  2. MailOnline

    'They are killing our rivers and set our reserve on fire': Indigenous Brazilian woman cries in anguish as the Amazon burns behind her

  3. ITV News

    Brazil’s leader to send army to fight huge fires in the Amazon