First instance judge Fabiano Verli, from Tabatinga (state of Amazonas), issued the decision after Univaja, an organization that brings together several peoples of the the Javari valley, had filed a lawsuit against the missionaries entering their territory.
Javari is a legally recognized Indigenous territory in the westernmost region of Brazil, in the state of Amazonas. Several Indigenous peoples live there, both contacted and uncontacted.
In this interview with Jonathan Mazower, Survival International’s Communications Director, it was explained that US-based evangelical organization Ethnos360 is trying to reach out to uncontacted peoples in the Amazon rainforest. The missionaries aim to convert them to Christianity.
Survival warns that such contacts, in addition to violating the right of those peoples to have no contact with the outside world, seriously endanger the health of those communities, exposing them to various diseases.
Survival has called on the Brazilian authorities to act “immediately” to implement the judge’s decision and to “expel all the missionaries” from the Javari valley. The organization points out that uncontacted tribes are “the most vulnerable peoples on the planet”, and warned that the coronavirus has already reached some Indigenous Amazonian communities, such as the Yanomami.