From Cenarium Magazine*
SÃO PAULO (SP) – Indigenous leader Paulo Marubo, who coordinated the Union of Indigenous Peoples of Vale do Javari (Univaja) three times, died this Saturday, 3, in Manaus. One of the fellow fighters of indigenous man Bruno Pereira, murdered in 2022, his hepatitis worsened this week.
According to lawyer Eliésio Marubo, another leader linked to the entity, Paulo Marubo, his uncle, already had, on Friday, his kidneys and liver severely compromised by the disease. Paulo Marubo was one of those responsible for structuring the Univaja Surveillance Team (EVU), which emerged with the function of increasing the security of the original peoples who inhabit the Javari Valley Indigenous Land.
The territory has the largest number of indigenous people in voluntary isolation in the world and lives under threats from international drug trafficking, among other types of crime, such as illegal fishing and hunting. Paulo Marubo was at the head of Univaja for almost a decade and was the one who led the search for indigenous man Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips, from The Guardian.
Eliésio Marubo clarified that Paulo Marubo ended up needing replacement of platelets, fragments that help blood clot, and the removal of fluids from the abdominal cavity. The former Univaja coordinator had to be transported to Tabatinga (AM) and then to Manaus, where he was admitted to Hospital 28 de Agosto and remained in the unit’s corridor, without receiving due care from professionals. The transfer occurred, according to Eliésio Marubo, due to precarious service provided by the Unified Health System (SUS) network.
Eliésio Marubo extended the criticism to the Amazonas Security department. In his opinion, the government should have offered an effective scheme to guarantee Paulo Marubo’s integrity, considering that he was a target of criminals and had been threatened with death numerous times, so that, when he was left vulnerable in the hospital unit, the risk increased.
“He contributed a lot to the Univaja model. He created a new way for the entity to work, face the challenges of our region, and leaves us with a lot of pain for this passing.”
In a statement, the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (Coiab) recognized the legacy left by Paulo Marubo. In the message, the entity states that he “created conditions for the forest and the lives that live there to continue standing”.
Agência Brasil contacted the ministries of Indigenous Peoples and Health and the National Foundation of Indigenous Peoples (Funai) and is awaiting feedback. The report also asked for a position from the Amazonas Public Security Secretariat.
Read more: Dom and Bruno case: ‘We hope for effectiveness’, say Univaja members about commission for protection in Javari
With information from Agência Brasil