Carnival in Brazil, with a record number of visitors expected, is in full swing: What is its vocation. Photos
The famous carnival in Brazil is in full swing. This year, a record number of 5.5 million people are expected to attend the event, which will run until February 14.
This year's carnival dancers took to the biggest stage in Rio de Janeiro to pay tribute to Brazil's largest indigenous group and put pressure on President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to fulfill his promises to stop mining on indigenous lands, Weaumont Enterprise writes.
Carnival has long been a platform for samba schools to protest. During the march through the sambadrome, percussionists wrote "Miners out" on the drums, delivering their message to more than 70,000 participants and millions of people watching live on television.
"The chance that is left for us is the indigenous people of Brazil," they said during a tribute to the Yanomami at the Salgueiro Samba School, a year after Lula declared a health emergency for this group in the Amazon. They suffer from malnutrition and diseases such as malaria as a result of illegal mining.
About 30,000 Yanomami live in Brazil's largest indigenous territory, which covers more than 9 million hectares (22 million acres) in the northern Amazon rainforest.
Three weeks after taking office, Lula declared a health emergency due to the effects of illegal mining and sent in armed forces, doctors, nurses, and food. Nevertheless, according to the Ministry of Health, more than 300 Yanomami died of various causes in 2023.
Lula also created an inter-ministerial task force to combat illegal mining, and in 2023, Brazil's environmental agency destroyed a record 33 aircraft found on or near the Yanomami site. Agents have also smashed or detained mining barges, fuel, Starlink internet units, and campsites.
Government officials say that since the start of the operation, illegal mining areas in Yanomami have been reduced by 85% and health conditions have improved.