Brazilian Photographer Warns of Coronavirus “Genocide”

Health experts warn that communities in the Amazon region are in danger of being wiped out by COVID-19. A large group of artists and celebrities have written an open letter to President Bolsonaro urging him to prevent a coronavirus “genocide,” and one of the signatories–renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado–joins the program to discuss.

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: What are you most worried about? Why did you feel you need to make this appeal?

SEBASTIAO SALGADO, PHOTOGRAPHER: You know, Christiane, the Indians in Amazonia, they don’t have (INAUDIBLE) for the disease that come outside of the rainforest. The disease of the white people always eliminate thousands, tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of indigenous people in Amazon. And now, it’s huge danger, that the coronavirus come inside the Indian territory and can become a real genocide. It is a vast territory. Impossible to drive the medical assistance there inside if they become sick. It is what you are applying with (INAUDIBLE) is that the Brazilian government, they count from inside the Indian territory, the thousands of gold diggers that are inside of the territory. Loggers, religious sectors, farmers, they — after the President Bolsonaro took out all (INAUDIBLE) to come inside the Indian territory. The Indian territory is more or less open. And now, with the coronavirus, that the institutions are completely paralyzed, we are assisting a real invasion of Indian territory. And to avoid that the disease has reached the Indians, we are applying that Brazil government create a taskforce to put out of the Indian territory all this invader that can drive the disease there inside and we be real huge disaster.

About This Episode EXPAND

The president of the European Commission tells Christiane Amanpour about a global fundraiser for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado explains the pandemic’s threat to indigenous populations in his country. Alex Stamos, director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, discusses U.S.-China relations and the dangers of disinformation campaigns.