Brazil is suffering from the third-highest number of COVID-19 infections in the world, and the second-highest number of deaths, behind only the U.S. But for the residents of the municipality of Jacareacanga in the Amazonian state of Pará, another health crisis is brewing. On Nov. 4, local authorities sent a letter to the Evandro Chagas Institute (IEC), a tropical medicine center that operates under the umbrella of Brazil’s Ministry of Health, requesting assistance to deal with a “major outbreak of malaria in special areas” — that is, within Indigenous territories. The letter also warned of the comings and goings of illegal miners, known as garimpeiros, and the possibility of them spreading the disease even further in urban and Indigenous areas. “As miners travel from one mine to another, malaria is spreading to areas of other mines of non-Indigenous lands as well,” the mayor’s office said, and raised another concern over the local health care system: “In addition to new cases, frequent interruptions in malaria treatment cause a large number of relapses.” Data from the InfoAmazonia project “Mined Amazon” show the Indigenous territories in Jacareacanga are the target of 167 mining applications submitted to the National Mining Agency (ANM), even though Brazil’s Constitution prohibits mining on Indigenous lands. Of these applications, 159, or 95%, are for gold mining. By Nov. 20, 15 Indigenous people from the Munduruku territory had died from COVID-19, according to a survey by the National Committee on Indigenous Life and Memory. At the end of August, Munduruku…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer