The Kayapó Indigenous Lands are in a region of cerrado and
forests between the Araguaia, Tocantins and Xingu Rivers. The
Kayapó are historically divided into subgroups distributed between
northern Mato Gross and southeastern Pará. They are part of the
Macro-jê linguistic group.
The Krenhiyedja village is located in forest and cerrado in the
middle of Kayapó territory, between the villages of Aukre,
Kubekrankrenh, Gorotire, Kikretum and Mojkarako. The Fresco
River is a tributary of the Xingo River, the Riozinho is a tributary of
the Fresco, and the Vermelho River is a tributary of the Riozinho.
Over the years, we have sought to supervise and monitor the
Vermelho River region. Invasions by prospectors have recently
It isn’t just the areas where there was prospecting in the 1970s
and 1980s that are victims of invasions. All of the rivers and villages
are now directly or indirectly affected. Indigenous health problems
have increased, including skin diseases, infant mortality, malaria and
other diseases. Some cases aren’t fully investigated, and most are
underreported by the Special Indigenous Sanitary District (DSEI), so
there is no reliable monitoring.
The last study on this subject in the territory was conducted on
10 July 1994. It identified one specific village in which the
Indigenous people had a blood mercury level of around 52.58%. The
most affected areas at that time were in the regions of São Felix do
Xingu (Rio Xingu) and Santana do Araguaia (Rio Fresco). If at that
time there was a high level of contamination in blood and hair tests,
imagine what it would be like today. It is important to remember that
the Brazilian Constitution prohibits prospecting on Indigenous Lands.
Years of pressure from companies and prospectors have caused
internal divisions in the territory. One portion of the land is more
affected, and in another mining is just starting. In the more remote
villages, prospectors are arriving armed and with expensive
machinery to extract gold.
Today, there are individual prospectors in addition to
prospectors from large companies. Currently, there is a conflict with
the Vale subsidiary, Mineradora Onça Puma, which extracts nickel
from Xikrin lands, contaminating the Cateté River and part of the