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Mother Earth Screams, or the Dubious Commercial Goals of the Bolsonaro Government

A grim force is still rising against the "Rainha da Floresta ( Queen of the Rainforest )", as the spirit of the Amazon rainforest is sometimes
called in Brazil. More and more people all over the
globe are becoming interested in the Amazon and its "spirits", with the Indians bringing the wisdom of their teachings to their white brethren. Many of the words of the indigenous
people are directed toward the teaching of "conscious taking and giving," which means that if I take something from "Mãe Terra"
(Mother Earth), I give something back to her in return. We can call it a conscious act of reciprocity.
The Indian does not take anything from the forest at any time, he first asks the spirits of the place and the Great Spirit for permission.
His home is sacred to him. The forest is an all-embracing space for the Indian, a direct and
welcoming place when they are born, their great mother who teaches them many lessons throughout their lives and at the end
they lie down again in her loving arms.

In the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, there are approximately 114 Indian tribes that have not yet
known civilization and live their traditional lives by choice. That is why, unfortunately, they also do not know what the Brazilian government, led by the infamous President Jair Bolsonaro, has
come up with for them: the week before last,
a new bill, PL 490, was passed by the Special Commission for Lawmaking, according to which these
Indian tribes can be contacted by "private, national or international entities if they have
permission from the State".

What does this mean in practice? As Sônia Guajajara, an indigenous activist, put it in an open
debate of the Human Rights Commission, "If big landowners, mineral miners or crazy evangelicals bribe
the Brazilian government, they can get into the hitherto sovereign territory of the Indians without any restraint."
It is important to remember that these tribes have lived in their territory for centuries. In 1988, a few years after the end of the
military dictatorship, it was established directly in the Brazilian constitution that these tribes, in exceptional
cases, could only be contacted by anthropological specialists, after following the proper
hygiene protocol. In fact, there have been cases where after these indigenous people encountered
the flu, they died within 48 hours.

All is not lost with the passage of the bill by the Legislative Commission. The bill must pass the bicameral
National Congress. Unfortunately, it will probably pass easily in the lower house, where Bolsonaro has most of his
supporters. The Senate, which is more politically diverse but easily corruptible, has a chance of reversing it.
If it passes the Senate, the Supreme Court may yet reverse it... but, we are on thin ice
in a Brazilian society weakened by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, total disillusionment and
moral decay.

President Jair Bolsonaro once said that he was a brother of the Indians, but the quality of brotherhood is not
to be found in his actions. He is not a brother who does not live the doctrine of "conscious taking and giving". We are all sons and
daughters of Mother Earth and the Great Spirit, according to the teachings of the Indians, we are all related on this planet -
animals and humans, we are brothers and sisters, but the question is whether we have the moral and spiritual capacity to treat
each other with respect and reverence.

That is why it is good to listen to the Indians, our brothers and sisters who do not give up and
remind us what the real values are. One of the great figures is the aforementioned Sônia Guajajara,
who had the opportunity to study at a young age, which predestined her to become an activist fighting for
the rights of the indigenous people of Brazil, the Indians. Although she dresses in traditional clothing because it expresses
belonging to her people, her language and way of arguing are often more sophisticated and intelligent than Brazilian politicians. Sônia aptly describes the underlying racism of not only the current
Bolsonaro government but also of part of the Brazilian population: land is seen as an object of profit, something that can be
endlessly plundered and exploited. If nothing "happens" on them, they are missed
opportunities for the government. For the Indians, the land is sacred because they realize that they cannot exist without it. For the
government, Indian lands are unproductive, but for the Indians they are a source of life.
At a time when the whole world is seriously concerned about global warming and climate change, Bolsonaro's
government is only concerned with the profit of the moment, it is not strategic, it is not concerned about the quality of life of its people, let alone
the outside world, which the Amazon also affects.
Sônia also rightly points out that the territories where the Indians live are not directly theirs, they just have
exclusive use of them. "Mãe Terra (Mother Earth)" is revered by the Indians and they know how to listen to her. That is why
they point out that Mother Earth cries out through various disasters from floods, to tornadoes and
fires because we are out of balance. But the government doesn't hear it and wants to tip the scales even more

It is interesting that the government refers to Indians as poor people who live in undignified conditions. But
Sônia reminds us that it is their choice to live a traditional life and they certainly do not consider themselves poor. They live in
the arms of "Mãe Terra ( Mother Earth)" and she brings them many riches through traditions, rituals and nature.
Indians want to continue living their traditional lives and practicing their sacred rituals in their territories.
They do not want to live like the white rich Brazilians - in big houses in the cities. The big problem for whites is
that they think Indians want the same thing, but Indians only want respect. Respect for their different

Does that remind you of anything? To what extent do we, in the Czech basin, have a problem respecting otherness, other
opinions? The big problem arises when racism, arrogance and unbridled commercialism are the
hallmarks of presidents and leading politicians. Unfortunately, unlike Czech politicians,
the Brazilian government's current decision on PL 490 will affect climate conditions across the planet and probably
kill off the last Indian tribes living their traditional lives in isolation. In Peru, for example, a law
of this type has long been in force, and therefore some indigenous tribes have migrated to the Brazilian Amazon. But now there
is nowhere for them to go.

Is it a fact that the Indians are slowly leaving? That their essence is leaving the common consciousness and leaving
"Mãe Terra ( Mother Earth)"? These elder brothers of ours are in full connection with the Amazon, so if
the Amazon forest disappears, so will the Indians.
The Indian spirit and its archetype will remain in us and in our hearts, we will be able to encounter it in
teachings, rituals and traditions, it will always be there with us. But now there are still the rightful bearers of this
spirit, this wisdom, and they are literally fighting for their home, for the "Mãe Terra ( Mother Earth)", shouting
prayers to the "Rainha da Floresta ( Queen of the Forest)"... With their eyes fixed on the heavens, they call upon the power of the
Great Spirit.

Let us from the depth of our hearts cry out with them, let us pray for "Mãe Terra ( Mother Earth)" and our brothers and
sisters Indians.

Lucie Havlínová & Kateřina Marková

This article was published in the August 2021 issue of Regeneration magazine.

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