Raoni returned to war

News-match | Friday, November 30, 2012

Raoni returned to war

Raoni repart en guerre

Saturday, 24 November, with Maboika, in their hut village Metuktire (Mato Grosso state). Raoni is a headdress symbolizing the Sun, a labret in the lower lip and several necklaces. | Picture John Van Hassel

Published in Match

To protect the Amazon under threat from dams and deforestation, the Indian Chief comes to plead his case in Paris.

Virginie Guay – Paris Match


C’ is a tired old warrior who comes to our home. Two days ago, he left his paradise lost of the Amazon to the world of the whites. A world that he does not like much. Too much crowd noise, agitation. But a world in which he must speak. Once again, one last time. At the age of 82, perhaps 83, he does not know himself, Raoni is aware that this is his last trip. A journey which, this time, it was exhausted.

Sunday morning after a farewell heartbreaking and full of tears with the kayapo people, he prayed to the God ­Imprere, embraced his wife, Maboika, his children, and left his hut, in which he stored arrows, bait and traps. A motor boat is picked up it to Metuktire, village at the edge of the Xingu River, and led him to the border post of Pieracu. There, a taxi plane waiting to drop it in Cuiaba, where he spent the night before the endless course of the next day: Cuiabá-­Brasilia, Brasilia-Rio, Rio-Paris… Only it is far away, this tiny France!

Raoni, who knows that the huge forests of Mato Grosso, where he lives to the rhythm of the hunting, fishing and gathering, do not like the aircraft. It feels locked up, watched, even if its spectacular red tray balsa, making circle in his lower lip, and her cap of feathers of ara impressed more as much as before. But Sushruta never complains. Or prying that sometimes give the impression of being a pet fair, or throbbing pain that pass through its joints. “The Chief has no qualms”, repeats these times to the members of his tribe who are concerned for him. “The head is strong. The leader is courageous. »

To Sushruta, the head of all the fighting, the end justifies the means

Brave, Raoni, who can’t read, write or count, it has always been. This taciturn who, every day, meditate many hours smoking a pipe wood he carved, and which feeds almost exclusively on fish dried, chicken, rice and cassava cakes (never), is afraid of nothing. Is attached to nothing. Does nothing. Not even his clothes that he distributed to who wants to. Coming from one of the most warlike tribes of Amazon, it will stop ever. For him, the end justifies the means. It has been of much of the fighting, including the bloodiest, delivered by the ­Indiens since the 1950s against the settlers. A few years ago it was ­reconnu killed his first Kuben (white man) as a teenager. “They brought us measles, smallpox and influenza while we were not immune. We started to die by the thousands. »

In the early 1980s, the Kayapó, who “reign” on a reserve of 5,000 Indians and 132,000 square kilometres (larger than the Hungary), have been made responsible for the death of a dozen workers who were working at the construction of the famous road BR 80. Unbowed, Raoni has always been wary of those whites who do not know to listen to and respect nothing. “I am the only one who can still prevent the gold seekers, the”fazendeiros”, fishermen, loggers, the dam builders to invade our lands.”

Twenty-three years after its amazing world tour alongside the singer Sting and his wife Trudie, where, for sixty days and sixty nights, he repeated relentlessly and in 17 different countries a simple and universal message: “save the lung of the world. The SAP of the tree, this is the blood of the Earth”, it is up. Look on the bottom of the ages. A little man for a great design. Listen to him. “Do you want to live in a world where there is more game, more fish, more forest? Without forest, there will be more shade, the winds will get up, the Earth is going to dry up. There will be violent fires but more water or food for the men. “Or:”we all breathe a single air. We all drink only water. We all live on a single land. We must all protect. »

Mitterrand, Chirac, Juan Carlos, prince Charles… All have promised their support, and almost all abandoned it

Of the words clear, bright, who had made a great impression on others. A “noble cause”, a “just cause”, a “major cause” repeated looping the greats of this world, encountered over his wanderings: François Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac, Juan ­Carlos of Spain, prince Charles, the Emperor of Japan, the Pope Jean-Paul II…A fantastic, immediate, universal passion. All received it in their National Palace, under the eye of cameras and photographers. All have promised their support, aid, money, laws. And all, or almost, dropped it over the years, powerless to stop the merciless market in the world. Raoni became a man alone and knows, who visited, last June, the Rio + 20 Summit without having met a single head of State.

In autumn 2012, never the risk has been so much. The deforestation of the Amazon basin continues at high speed, despite the – small – ­efforts of the countries concerned. In ten years, the Amazon forest, which, with its 6 million square kilometres, is one of the main sources of oxygen on Earth, has shrunk by 500,000 square kilometres. Its ecosystem is most threatened daily. In recent years, Brazil, which is home to 60% of the area of this forest, proved unable to prevent the wild uprooting of thousands of trees, including in protected areas. Main culprit: the international mafia of wood, which operates illegally tropical species, and “turnover” annual is estimated at 77 billion euros. Dizzying profits, a power-packed Organization against which the authorities of the Brazil and South America, most widely do not know, may not fight; 90% of world traffic of wood come from wood not traced.

All this and many other things still, Raoni said François ­Hollande on 29 November at the Elysee. Just as he spoke of the huge Belo Monte dam project, the third largest book of this kind under construction in the world. A project that directly threatens indigenous territories located on the banks of the Xingu River and mordicus, Brazilian authorities have refused to surrender despite protests, petitions and repeat incidents. As Lula before her, Dilma Rousseff intends to continue this project began in 2005, the final cost will be roughly $ 13 billion, and the building will result in the flooding of 502 square kilometres of land. Belo Monte, which will provide annually megawatts (11% of the installed capacity of the country), is the first of a dozen dams that the Brazilian Government wants to build in the region, to ensure the energy supply including the sixth economy world needs to grow.

Raoni will present its successor: his nephew Megaron

A perspective that horrified Raoni. “You beg, stop this dam. Water should continue to run normally, the fish must be able to back into the rivers. Our children and grandchildren must keep eating,”he said. A message that the president of the French Republic should transmit to the President of the Brazil expected in Paris early December. “I momentarily not arms. I will fight to the end. They want our land at any price. They expect my death to seize”, warns yet Raoni, who will be joined for this journey of three weeks (after the France it will go in Germany, England, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Monaco) of his successor, his nephew Megaron. “It is next to me for a long time. It does not leave me. He learned everything I know. It is the next generation. “A statement that it will present for the first time.

In France, Raoni is supported by numerous personalities: ­Bernard Lavilliers, Edgar Morin, Claire Keim, Jacques Weber, Marion Cotillard, ­stephane Hessel, Vincent Perez, Vincent Cassel… The latter, which until now had never committed publicly in any case, exceptionally participated in a spot of Jan Kounen in support of the campaign “­Urgence Amazon”, in which NGOs planet ­Amazone, chaired by Gert-Peter Bruch, and the ­Fondation ­Nicolas Hulot are closely involved. Currently being filmed in trade, Vincent ­Cassel do not meet Raoni during this trip. Unless an appointment did finally take place in Berlin. The two men will aspire. On the other hand, Raoni speaks to Nicolas Hulot who, last year, toured with him a number of “Ushuaïa” and he has a deep admiration: “combat Raoni is timeless. The climate issue is the worst threat that weighs on mankind. Raoni is a diamond, a sage. It deserves to be Nobel Prize for peace. »



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