Activists say onslaught has intensified as illegal loggers and land-grabbers take the presidents verbal offensive against indigenous communities as a green light to act
More than 30 bullet holes told Awapu Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau a sinister tale.
Their message is that theyre going to finish us off, isnt it? the village chieftan said as he examined the pockmarked sign warning outsiders to stay off the giant Amazon reserve he calls home.
Brazil was only 11 days into Jair Bolsonaros presidency when dozens of armed land-grabbers rolled up at the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau territory and cut a trail into the forest, claiming Bolsonaros anti-indigenous rhetoric meant they would not be stopped.
Eventually the intruders were repelled but not before leaving their leaden response to the government notice cautioning trespassers against straying on to supposedly protected land.
Were scared, admitted Awapu, a 27-year-old cacique (chief) who has received death threats for speaking out against the invaders. Nobody wants to die.
The slow-burn assault on Brazils indigenous lands did not begin in January with Jair Bolsonaros far-right presidency.
But Awapu, and activists across the country, say they are convinced the onslaught has intensified since Bolsonaro took power, as illegal loggers, goldminers, poachers and land-grabbers take the presidents verbal offensive against such communities as a green light to act.
Last week Brazils Indigenous Missionary Council rights group denounced that 153 indigenous territories had been invaded since January more than double last years figure of 76 partly blaming the surge on Bolsonaros aggressive talk.