Brazil: 18 illegal miners arrested in Yanomami land
Brazilian authorities this week arrested 18 illegal miners (garimpeiros) in Yanomami Indigenous Land during the joint operation Ágata Fronteira Norte, according to Defense Ministry sources, Agencia Brasil reported Friday.
Military personnel from the Armed Forces, Federal Police officers, and officials from the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) participated in the actions that resulted in the arrests and destruction of illegal equipment. Those investigated were taken to the Federal Police Superintendence in Boa Vista. The arrests took place in regions of high tension in the indigenous territory.
Five miners were apprehended after trying to cross without authorization the Army’s River Blocking and Control Post on the Uraricoera River, which controls the entry and exit of vessels. The post is in the community of Palimiu.
In the Rangel region, the operation resulted in the arrest of 13 miners, in addition to the destruction of three boats, six engines, a motor pump, a lodge with a canteen, a quadricycle, and a camp.
According to the Ministry of Defense, Ágata Fronteira Norte has so far made 48 arrests. The operation is part of a joint effort involving 1,381 military personnel from the Armed Forces, as well as civil servants from other Brazilian government agencies.
The operation was launched on June 21 through Decree No. 11,575. It also includes the use of 11 aircraft, a river patrol vessel, and three armored speedboats.
Operation Ágata Fronteira Norte also seeks to ensure security in the Homoxi region, also in the Yanomami Territory, where the Basic Indigenous Health Unit (UBSI) is located. It is the only one in the region, having resumed services six months ago, after being deactivated in 2021 due to attacks by miners. The unit served about 700 indigenous people.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)