Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon denounce discrimination in vaccination

(INW).-  The Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA) denounced on Wednesday that governments maintain discriminatory policies in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Governments have failed all the inhabitants of the Amazon,” said COICA Coordinator Jose Díaz Mirabal, who is a member of the Wakuenai Kurripaco people of Venezuela. 

“More than 1,775,000 cases and more than 42,000 deaths speak of the magnitude of the ineptitude and disinterest of our presidents” with indigenous peoples, Díaz Mirabal added at an online press conference. 

“The advance of the Brazilian COVID-19 strain affects the most vulnerable and exposes the tragedies that affect our peoples: social inequality, poverty, marginalization and the absence of nation-states.” 

The Amazonian communities’ leader said that less than 1 in every 100,000 vaccines available in the region have been distributed to Indigenous peoples.

Last week, COICA issued a petition to the governments of the Amazon requesting that sanitary measures and epidemiological borders be implemented, as well as ensuring the effective functioning of specialized medical care units in the territories of the Amazonian Indigenous peoples.

Additionally, COICA specifically demanded that the Brazilian government guarantee access to vaccines for 100 percent of the Indigenous population and also demanded that other Amazonian countries proceed with vaccination campaigns according to the decisions and consent expressed in prior consultation by Indigenous peoples.

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