Brazilian President could face International Court for Cultural Genocide

By Hana Mereraiha

Indigenous communities will be submitting a case to the International Criminal Court against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, along with other politicians and corporate leaders, in the coming weeks. They have been accused of committing climate crimes and cultural genocide.

“The catastrophic Amazon forest fires in Brazil can be largely attributed to the Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and his fellow extremist minister Ricardo Salles. Not only have they permitted these devastating fires, but they have encouraged and fuelled them", says New Zealand indigenous coalition spokesperson Mike Smith.

Smith says the fires are a threat to Indigenous communities. 

“The fires pose an existential danger to [the] whole indigenous tribe, and indeed the entire global population.

“Climate change is no longer subtle, it is playing out in real-time. [Hurricane] Dorian just reminded us that islands housing precious people and cultures will disappear in a glimpse. Fires in the Amazon, Africa and Asia stoke fear in every heart that the air we breathe may soon become a luxury and that entire species and forest inhabitants might go up in smoke.

“The climate crisis is impacting indigenous communities disproportionately. People are losing their homes, their crops and their lives. The causes of this harm originate from the political and corporate leadership overseeing the massive and unsustainable production of greenhouse gases. These actors must be held accountable for their international crimes. 

“The scope of their crimes have reached the genocide threshold in cases where population groups are facing extinction in fact, as indeed currently facing the entirety of the human species due to extreme climate changes".