Under Bolsonaro, Indigenous Yanomami see surge in child malnutrition deaths

  • With 0.013% of the Brazilian population, the Yanomami accounted for 7% of deaths from child malnutrition in 2019-2020.
  • More than 50% of Indigenous Yanomami children are underweight and suffering from acute to chronic malnutrition.
  • Indigenous health advocates blame the problem in part on lack of government support, including the ending of food provisions for community health units.
  • Another factor is the growing presence of illegal miners inside the Yanomami Indigenous territory, bringing with them disease and contamination; areas more affected by mining also suffer more from malnutrition.

On May 10, the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported on child malnutrition in the Yanomami Indigenous Territory, located in the country’s northern Amazonian region. It featured the image of an 8-year-old Indigenous child from the Maimasi community lying in a hammock, her ribs sticking out due to severe malnutrition.

On the same day, the Palimiu community, also in the Yanomami Indigenous Territory was attacked by illegal miners. Shortly after, President Jair Bolsonaro said that “Criminalizing miners nowadays in Brazil is not fair. I’m not saying that because my father was a miner for a while. That has nothing to do with anything.”

Source: Under Bolsonaro, Indigenous Yanomami see surge in child malnutrition deaths