Indigenous communication network gets award in the Netherlands

Anyone who knows the Amazon realizes the challenge that its immense dimensions mean for communication. Indigenous people understand the importance of disseminating information about what is happening in the communities and have made great progress in this regard. One such effort has now been recognized by the World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Award 2022 in The Hague, Netherlands, during the World Justice Forum 2022.

The recognition was given to the Wayuri Network, which brings together 55 communicators from 16 ethnicities. The network produces, for example, the weekly radio program “Papo da Maloca” (“Hut Chat”), which airs on FM 92.7, in São Gabriel da Cachoeira (Amazonas State). The program is also available on the Wayuri podcast. The network plans to strengthen its social media presence. (Visit the network’s Instagram page).

“Wayuri” means “collective work or effort” in the Nheengatu language. One of the network’s goals is to tackle fake news about indigenous peoples. In January, during the IV Wayuri Network Workshop, the group translated the term “fake news” into the region’s indigenous languages, to explain what this threat represents and how to deal with it.

“The Wayuri Network plays a fundamental role through indigenous communicators who strengthen communities by distributing true information that makes the counter-narrative to fake news that promotes fear and collaborates to increase violence and destruction in the Amazon”, highlighted Marivelton Barroso, from the Baré people, and president of the Rio Negro Indigenous Organizations Federation (Foirn). He received the award personally on behalf of the communicators.

According to the WJP, the Wayuri Network was selected in a global search. “They have built local awareness and engagement on issues such as the pandemic, violence against women and a range of environmental threats,” the organization explained.

“The international recognition of the Wayuri Network shows how important the fight against disinformation is in Brazil, as well as the situation of vulnerability and threats that indigenous peoples and the Amazon are facing in the current Brazilian political context, where the rule of law is also under attack”, analyzed the journalist and articulator of socio-environmental policies at the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), Juliana Radler, who has worked with the Wayuri Network since its creation, in 2017, and was also in The Hague for the award.

More information in this ISA report (in Portuguese).


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