Amazonian Tribe Wins $3 Million Lawsuit Against Timber Companies Who Illegally Deforested Land

With the lawsuit finally coming to a close, Attorney General of the Republic Augusto Aras said he hoped it would serve as a precedent for other legal conflicts in Brazil.

"What we did here was to comply with the Constitution, understanding that the indigenous have sacred rights guaranteed by the Magna Carta," Aras said in a statement. "You have the right to have a decent life, materially speaking, to choose your own destiny, to take part in political decisions, with respect to isolated communities."

Francisco Piyãko, a leader in the Amazonian community, also expressed his hope that the settlement would emphasize the need to respect all indigenous peoples in Brazil.

"We never accept to make an agreement in isolation, we work with transparency because it is an agenda that today is not just a right for our people. It became important for the rights of indigenous peoples as a whole," Piyãko said in a statement. "It is necessary to respect peoples, it is necessary to understand that rights are protected by the competent institutions, based on the Federal Constitution."

"These resources come to enhance existing actions, to generate sustainability for our people, our land, so that it helps to strengthen us to continue the broader project of environmental protection and maintenance of our ways of life," Piyãko added.

Deforestation in the Amazon has been a concern for environmentalists, especially after fires ravaged through at a record rate in 2019 for weeks, threatening wildlife and Earth’s oxygen.

The Amazon, known as "the planet’s lungs," produces 20 percent of Earth’s oxygen and is a key factor in combating climate change, according to CNN.

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