Born in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, Txai Surui, by her full name Walelasoetxeige Paiter Bandeira Surui, left her Brazilian village to go to Glasgow on October 31, 2021. During her opening speech at COP26, she pleaded the cause of the natives and defended the protection of the planet. She then became the new activist to follow.
“Today, the climate is warming, animals are disappearing, rivers are dying and our plantations are no longer flourishing as before. Earth speaks. She tells us that we have no more time. Indigenous peoples are on the front lines of the climate emergency, and we must be at the center of decisions made here. (…) It’s not in 2030 or 2050, it’s now! ”Hammered Txai Surui during COP26.
Activist 2.0, the young 24-year-old woman, on the way to obtaining her law degree, uses Instagram to denounce the actions of the Brazilian government and to share the punching actions she is leading with a few other young committed indigenous people.
In April 2021, for example, she lodged a complaint against the Brazilian state for non-compliance with its climate objectives. She is also one of the co-founders of the Fridays for Future movement in Brazil. Very involved in the fight for the protection of indigenous lands, Txai Surui led numerous mobilizations against deforestation and mining in the Amazon.
A family affair
This fervor in defending the environment and indigenous peoples did not come to him out of nowhere. Worthy heir to the ideologies of Chief Raoni, she is the daughter of Almir Narayamoga, chief of the Paiter Surui tribe who lives in the state of Rondônia. He is one of Brazil’s emblematic figures in the fight against illegal loggers. However, the victim of death threats, he had to take refuge in the United States with Ivaneide Bandeira Cardozo, Txai Surui’s mother. Some time later, both returned to their tribe, under the protection of special forces, reports The Parisian.
Ivaneide Bandeira Cardozo is also a committed woman. She co-founded the Kanindé association. This NGO brings together people from different Brazilian peoples to join forces to fight against illegal activities in the Amazon and to defend better protection of their rights.
A dangerous engagement
During her speech in Glasgow, Txai Surui revealed to be, like her father, the target of anonymous threats, but also of the Brazilian authorities who, according to her, do not appreciate that she went to COP26. But that doesn’t impress Txai Surui. “I am not afraid, because what the indigenous peoples live in Brazil is much more dangerous than the messages on the Internet”.
The actions of the Brazilian government having been denounced by Txai Surui in front of the whole world, Jair Bolsonaro quickly spoke following the speech of the young native. “They are complaining that I did not go to Glasgow. They took an Indian there, to replace Raoni (sick, he could not go there, editor’s note), and attack Brazil. (…) Nobody criticizes their own country, ”he lambasted.
This fight to defend the planet and the 215 indigenous peoples of the Amazon is important for Txai Surui. However, she is aware that this can put her in danger. One of her friends, Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau was assassinated in 2020. Like her, he campaigned against the deforestation of Rondônia.
For the moment, the young native lives in Porto Velho, the capital of the state of Rondônia, in order to finish her studies. She intends to return to her village once her diploma is in hand in order to be able to better defend her people.