Home » Indigenous people demand appointments to Funai and health agency by Lula government

Indigenous people demand appointments to Funai and health agency by Lula government

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Indigenous people demand appointments to Funai and health agency by Lula government

To charge for filling the positions, they went to the headquarters of the bodies last Tuesday (14) and Wednesday (15)

Rosiene Carvalho
Manaus, AM

Fifteen days after federal government agencies participated in an event in Atalaia do Norte (AM) announcing the resumption of activities on the Brazil-Peru-Colombia triple border, traditional indigenous leaders of the Matis, Kanamari, Mayoruna and Marubo peoples arrived in the city to protest.

They demand the appointment of new coordinators for Funai (National Foundation for Indigenous Peoples) and Sesai (Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health) in the Javari Valley. To charge for filling the positions, they went to the headquarters of the bodies last Tuesday (14) and Wednesday (15).

For indigenous peoples, the delay in appointments paralyzed health and territory protection actions, continuing the situation of abandonment of indigenous peoples, one of the main criticisms made by President Lula in relation to the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government. It’s been almost three months waiting for this definition.

Protests against the delay in appointments also occur in other regions of the Amazon. The indigenous people defend that the functions be carried out by trained staff from the original peoples and want the nominations to be immune to the influences of deputies and senators of the states.

Funai has 39 regional coordination offices and Sesai has 34 Dseis (Special Indigenous Health Districts).

The administrative link of the Dseis is with the Ministry of Health. They occupy strategic spaces, not associated with the boundaries of state territories, with the aim of acting in indigenous health. Funai is linked to the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples.

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In Roraima, when president Lula participated in the 52nd assembly of the CIR (Indigenous Council of Roraima), this week, he left with a letter with eight pages of claims signed by leaders of nine peoples. Among the requests is the appointment “without political interference” to the Coordination of East DSEI and the nomination of the indigenous woman Zelandes Patamona to the position.

“Sesai is an achievement of the indigenous movement in Brazil for a health that meets our reality and without political interference”, said an excerpt from the letter of demands delivered to Lula.

On February 28, the CIR published a note demanding the nominations and highlighting the nominations of indigenous names approved in assemblies of the peoples of the Raposa Serra do Sol indigenous land. The council highlighted the importance of Sesai and Funai in the area of ​​health and territorial protection, among other urgent actions

“The two bodies have historically been occupied by political appointments, mainly by parliamentarians from Roraima. With the new government, the indigenous movement of Roraima indicated two names to occupy the coordination”, says an excerpt from the note. The following day, the publication of the appointment at Funai, the indigenous woman Marizete Macuxi, was published.


In February, the association Urihi Associação Yanomami, in a note, strengthened the positions of the indigenous people. The organization said it considered “outrageous” the participation of senators Chico Rodrigues (PSB-RR), Mecias de Jesus (Republicanos-RR) and Hiran Gonçalves (PP-RR) in a parliamentary commission to monitor the condition of the Yanomami people. Parliamentarians have pro-mining public positions.

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In addition, the indigenous people attribute to Senator Mecias de Jesus the political appointment of the coordinators of the Yanomami and Ye’kuana districts during the period in which the Yanomami suffered lack of assistance. DSEIs are also the subject of investigation of misuse of resources during the pandemic period.

Son of Mecias, deputy Jhonatan de Jesus was chosen, with the support of the PT, as the new minister of the TCU (Union Court of Accounts) in the midst of the crisis in the Yanomami TI.

The delay in appointing federal positions in the Upper Rio Negro in Amazonas exposed a dispute over the nomination between the mayor of the municipality of São Gabriel da Cachoeira, Clóvis Curubão (PT), and the leader of Foirn (Federation of Indigenous Organizations of Rio Negro), Marivelton Baré.


Curubão, who is of Tariana ethnicity, is the only indigenous mayor of the PT and wants the right to appoint the positions, but weighs against him public positions and alongside former president Jair Bolsonaro defending mining in indigenous land. Foirn, linked to Apib (Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil), presented as an option the name of an indigenous woman from the movement.

The Apib, which until last year was presided over by today’s Minister of Indigenous Peoples, Sônia Guajajara, issued a note this week demanding speed in appointments by the Lula government and stating that political influences and delay weaken the struggle of indigenous peoples for their rights .

“Indigenous policy can no longer fall into the slowness, omission and neglect that characterized it particularly in the last six years. Nor, we believe, can it be subjected to party-political interference criteria, bargaining, much less the practice of give-and-take”, says an excerpt from the Apib manifestation sent to the Civil House, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Indigenous Peoples, Funai and Sesai.

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Sônia Guajajara and the president of Funai, Joenia Wapichana, on trips to indigenous territories have been talking with leaders about the construction of indigenous policy in the government. In Atalaia, in her speech, the minister stated that the portfolio could not be just a figurative body. At Raposa Serra do Sol, in February, Joenia said that, in accepting the invitation to Funai, one of the conditions was to protect the positions from political influences.


This Thursday, Funai denied that there is delay on the part of the foundation in the nominations and that, in some cases, it is waiting for consensus “about the nominations” by the indigenous movement. The note says that the foundation is building, through dialogue with indigenous people from different ethnic groups and regions, the names of future coordinators of the decentralized units.

In the note, Funai states that the search for dialogues with indigenous people “attests to the commitment of the current management to reinforce the indigenous presence in strategic positions of the indigenist body, as is already happening within the scope of the Presidency and Directorates of the Foundation.”

Sought, Sesai did not manifest itself until the publication of the report.

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