Jair Bolsonaro rode the right-wing populist wing to power in 2018. Furthermore, he has acted like Hitler when referring to the Indigenous people and other minorities. Bolsonaro has gone as far as to label Brazil's indigenous people as "inferior" and has talked about "wiping them out.” However, his most cruel impulses are reserved for disregarding the Amazon rainforest, because he does not believe in climate change. Indigenous Brazilian tribal leaders have even gone as far as to file two requests with the International Criminal Court (ICC) one for genocide and another for crimes against humanity. Crimes against Humanity charge is because of his deforestation policies, and they genocide refers to his COVID-19 policies. President Emmanuel Macron of France has even threatened international intervention to prevent the destruction. Let us constitute a new rule that you need to be arrested if you are a politician who committed crimes against humanity. The International Criminal Court must issue an arrest warrant; if found guilty by the ICC the authorities in their own countries must follow through on the indictment. There is hope for making this a reality, given that Indigenous Brazilians believe they have enough proof to charge Bolsonaro with both Crimes against Humanity and Genocide.
"Our house is on fire," tweeted President Macron in 2018 about his disgust with Bolsonaro for his lack of respect for the Rainforest and environment in general. While Macron's war of words with Bolsonaro may not have helped heal relations between the two leaders, it did inspire the leader of an Indigenous Brazilian tribe. Ninawa is a leader of the Indigenous Brazilian people, "Huni Kui." He wrote a letter to France's president urging him to use his power to stop what he calls the "predation" of his land. Ninawa wants Bolsonaro to completely stop farming, logging, and developmental projects that harm the Amazon. Ninawa came with more than a strongly worded letter; he even had a plan to stop Bolsonaro right in his tracks. Ninawa’s plan involved asking the European leaders to stop facilitating the trade of products linked to deforestation: soybeans, meat, wood. Ninawa has great hope for his plan to work because France is the new leader of the E.U., and Macron is already a sympathizer of his cause. Ninawa is not the only indigenous person trying to be an activist for the environment; two other Brazilian Indigenous women also take the fight head-on.
Samela Sateré-Mawé and Sônia Guajajara are two Brazilian indigenous women fighting to stop the destruction of the Rainforest and raise awareness about climate change. Samela is from Manaus, in the Amazon, and Sônia is from Araribóia, in Maranhão. "We Indigenous peoples have been activists long before this word even existed." Samela and Sônia believe that the destruction of their homeland is tragic, but they also believe the far more significant damage lies in the future. They are highly aware of the changing climate and fear that not only will they have to suffer through deforestation, but their children will not even have a place to call home. As indigenous people of the Amazon, they think they should be the leaders of the climate justice movement because it is in their DNA. The perspective of two indigenous women gives a unique set of perspectives because the Rainforest is their home. Samela and Sônia’s work is impressive, it is nothing compared to the impressive work that Eloy Terena has been doing.
Eloy Terena is a lawyer for Indigenous people's land rights. Eloy himself is also an indigenous person who hails from the Terena tribe in Brazil. Eloy's village does not offer education past the fourth grade, so it is truly remarkable what he has been able to make of himself. Eloy has been primarily focused on Brazil since Bolsonaro was elected and is the lawyer representing the Indigenous people prosecuting Bolsonaro. Eloy genuinely believes that Indigenous people are essential in the fight to protect the environment and must take action on climate change. "Indigenous territories are the most protected areas and are responsible for environmental balance, for the protection of biodiversity, for the protection of rivers and lakes, and for that reason, these vital spaces are not only for the people who inhabit them but also, above all, for those who live in large urban centers.” While having legal representation is crucial in this fight, actual scientific data is also needed. Scientists and researchers at the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) provided such evidence by documenting the varying effects that climate change and deforestation will have on the planet.
"Climate change poses additional risks to the stability of the forests. Studies suggest "tipping points" not to be transgressed: 4° C of global warming or 40% of the total deforested area.” Those statistics are even more alarming given that the destruction of the Rainforest has increased significantly over the past fifty years. PNAS argues that we should immediately stop deforestation because reducing deforestation will make the Amazon a global public good for creating high-value products and ecosystem services. If humans do not stop deforestation, PNAS warns that the Amazon will lose it’s biodiversity and cause irreversible damage to the tropical forests. Another concern that PNAS has is that deforestation will also lead to the lengthening of the dry season. The first graph represents what amount of forest area will be left after climate change, and it makes predictions well into the year 2050. The second graph represents the predicted distribution of natural biomes after deforestation. However, an essential part of the article is the two experiments they conducted. One experiment was climate change only, and the other was climate change/deforestation/fire experiments. While PNAS is hopeful that we can do harm-reduction by changing specific policies, they also issued a stark warning. Which alleges that while stopping deforestation will preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services, it will not be enough to stop climate change globally. They recommend every nation needs to follow through on their promises in the Paris Climate Accords and then some.
Let 2022 be the beginning of a new era where leaders who cause destruction and suffering in a suit from behind a desk are held just as responsible as the ax murderer walking down the street. The Indigenous tribes of Brazil believe they have enough evidence to prosecute Jair for genocide and crimes against humanity successfully. Eloy said, "we believe there are acts in progress in Brazil that constitute crimes against humanity, genocide, and ecocide.” Along with his environmental policies, Bolsonaro also mismanaged COVID-19 in his country, which hit the indigenous communities the hardest. Approximately 900,000 indigenous people are more susceptible to COVID-19 because of their weaker immune systems, and an estimated 1,166 have passed away. These horrific crimes are being flaunted in the open with no fear of repercussion, and accountability needs to happen. If a nation leader commits a crime, the International Criminal Court must issue an arrest warrant; if found guilty of genocide by the ICC, the authorities in their own countries must follow through on the indictment.
 James, Chantal. “In Conversation with Two Indigenous Women Fighting for the Future of the Amazon-and the Planet.” Vogue, December 13, 2021. https://www.vogue.com/article/sonia-guajajara-samela-satere-mawe-brazil-amazon-interview.
 Brazão, Mariana, Lara Bartilotti Picanço, and Natália Tosi. “Interview with Eloy Terena, I
ndigenous Land Rights Activist in Brazil.” Wilson Center, August 9, 2021. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/interview-eloy-terena-indigenous-land-rights-activist-brazil.
 Nobre, Carlos A., Gilvan Sampaio, and Laura S. Borma. “Land-Use and Climate Change Risks in the Amazon and the Need of a Novel Sustainable Development Paradigm.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Accessed April 7, 2022. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27638214/.
 Aljazeera. “Brazil Indigenous Group Sues Bolsonaro at ICC for 'Genocide'.” Indigenous Rights News | Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera, August 9, 2021. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/9/brazil-indigenous-group-sues-bolsonaro-at-icc-for-genocide.
Brazão, Mariana, Lara Bartilotti Picanço, and Natália Tosi. “Interview with Eloy Terena, Indigenous Land Rights Activist in Brazil.” Wilson Center, August 9, 2021. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/interview-eloy-terena-indigenous-land-rights-activist-brazil.
Cetinic, Oleg. “Indigenous Leader to France's Macron: Save the Amazon.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, October 2, 2021. https://apnews.com/article/climate-change-france-paris-forests-emmanuel-macron-d66a05f0ed407b2429fb84e4f349b0f6.
James, Chantal. “In Conversation with Two Indigenous Women Fighting for the Future of the Amazon-and the Planet.” Vogue, December 13, 2021. https://www.vogue.com/article/sonia-guajajara-samela-satere-mawe-brazil-amazon-interview.
Nobre, Carlos A., Gilvan Sampaio, and Laura S. Borma. “Land-Use and Climate Change Risks in the Amazon and the Need of a Novel Sustainable Development Paradigm.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Accessed April 7, 2022. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27638214/.
Dan Sullivan is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte studying World War 2 History and minoring in Communications and Journalism. When it comes to writing about Marxism and Socialism he takes a concentrated look into the U.S. and E.U. Imperialism especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union. He is very passionate about creating and putting into place a brand new system of eco-socialism to address the ongoing food and climate crisis. He also takes an interest in how the American church perpetuates the ongoing cycle of violence of American Capitalism by keeping workers content with deplorable conditions. He plans on working for a non-corporate media outlet to report on the U.S. Empire and NATO war crimes and imperialism.
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About the Midwestern Marx Youth League
The Midwestern Marx Youth League (MMYL) was created to allow comrades in undergraduate or below to publish their work as they continue to develop both writing skills and knowledge of socialist and communist studies. Due to our unexpected popularity on Tik Tok, many young authors have approached us hoping to publish their work. We believe the most productive way to use this platform in a youth inclusive manner would be to form the youth league. This will give our young writers a platform to develop their writing and to discuss theory, history, and campus organizational affairs. The youth league will also be working with the editorial board to ensure theoretical development. If you are interested in joining the youth league please visit the submissions section for more information on how to contact us!