Escalation of violence against indigenous groups in Brazil pushes growing number of native women to lead the movement.
Written by Mia Alberti, Al Jazeera
Sao Paulo, Brazil – Celia Xakriaba was 13 years old when she joined the fight for indigenous rights. Her indigenous Xakriaba community is one of the few who survived the advancement of colonisers and missionaries in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais during the 18th-century.
Xakriaba, now 29, continues the fight for the rights of native people in Brazil and is one of the growing number of women who have taken the lead in the movement.
“The 21st-century belongs to women and our voices are stronger than ever,” Xakriaba told Al Jazeera over the phone. “Indigenous women have the chance to bring new strategies to this moment of political crisis and deadly policies.”
Last year was one of the bloodiest years on record for indigenous communities in Brazil. The Indigenous Missionary Council, a religious organisation fighting for indigenous rights, recorded at least 110 murders of indigenous individuals in 2017.
Rights groups fear the violence will only get worse under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who took office in January.
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