“In times of pandemic, the collective struggle and solidarity that has rekindled in the world will only be complete with indigenous peoples, as the cure will not only be in the active principle, but in the activation of our human principles.”

Excerpt from the Final Letter of the National Assembly for Indigenous Resistance


* The numbers of confirmed cases and cases of deaths presented represent the total data reported by SESAI and ascertained by the National Committee for Indigenous Life and Memory. To better understand the numbers, go to Methodology.



The first confirmed case of contamination by Covid-19 among Brazilian indigenous people was a 20-year-old girl from the Kokama people, on March 25, in the Amazon municipality of Santo Antônio do Içá.

The disease was brought by a doctor from São Paulo at service of the Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health (SESAI), who was infected with the virus. Today the Kokama are most affected in cases of death.

On the map to the side, it is possible to see the people affected by state. Click on the state to see the list of affected people.



Amazonas was the first state to have confirmation of contaminated indigenous people and today it concentrates the largest number of deaths among indigenous people.

We draw attention to the fact that SESAI is one of the main vectors for the expansion of the disease within indigenous territories, reaching the region with the largest number of isolated peoples in the world: the Javari Valley.



The lack of transparency in SESAI data prevents the identification of many cities where the deaths occurred. Data with the acronym SI (No Information) represents these cases. Once again, we denounce SESAI’s lack of transparency and institutional racism and demand respect for our rights.


Support the people of the forest in the fight against coronavirus

Donate now to the APIB crowdfunding Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil

Humanity will face its worst moments since World War II. Epidemics are terrible for society, but we know that for indigenous peoples the impact is even greater. Influenza, smallpox and measles were some of the diseases introduced in our territories by non-indigenous people and which exterminated many of our ancestors.

Coronavirus is yet another such threat. It is necessary to have a look directed at indigenous peoples with the increase of the world pandemic. The effects for us can be devastating! Our community way of life can facilitate the rapid spread of the virus in our territories if any of us are infected.

With the amount collected, we will buy food, medicine and hygiene material for our villages.

Donate to initiatives across Brazil

It’s time to unite against Covid-19. With the advance of the new coronavirus in Brazil, the main health agencies recommend to the population total isolation, or the so-called “quarantine”. This guidance is even more important for those who have a lower immunity and live far from hospitals.

This is the case with indigenous people and other forest peoples, who are mobilizing to ensure the well-being of their communities. Crowdfunding and bank accounts were made available to guarantee hygiene items, food and money for the coming months.

If you know of any initiative that is off the list, send the information through our social networks:






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The National Committee for the Life and Memory of Indigenous Peoples is the result of the National Assembly of Indigenous Resistance, held on May 8 and 9, 2020, and is organized by the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) together with all its organizations base.

The number of people impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic is increasing every day in Brazil. Indigenous peoples are in a situation of great vulnerability with a real risk of this new virus causing another genocide in indigenous communities within traditional territories. In our history, millions of indigenous people were decimated by the free circulation of diseases, such as at the time of the Portuguese invasion or during the military dictatorship, in which viruses were used as biological weapons to exterminate more than 8 thousand indigenous people in that period, according to report of the Truth Commission. Now in the midst of a global pandemic, the social isolation recommended by the World Health Organization as the main remedy for Covid-19, has become an incentive for the Bolsonaro government to aggravate the situation of violence experienced by indigenous peoples. Invasions into territories are more intense, deforestation has increased, fundamentalist missionaries continue to be encouraged to commit crimes and illegal mining is advancing within indigenous lands. In the face of a government that is silent on the protection of peoples, we will not remain silent in the face of the threats that Covid-19 represents for our survival.

In order to denounce the ethnocidal action of the Brazilian State in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and to value the life and memory of the indigenous peoples of Brazil affected by the new coronavirus.



National Committee for the Life and Memory of Indigenous Peoples

– APIB | Associação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil (Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil)
– APOINME | Articulação dos Povos e Organizações Indígenas do Nordeste, Minas Gerais e Espírito Santo (Articulation of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations in the Northeast, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo)
– ARPINSUDESTE | Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Sudeste (Articulation of Indigenous Peoples in the Southeast)
– ARPINSUL | Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Sul (Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of the South)
– ATY GUASSU | Grande Assembleia do Povo Guarani (Great Assembly of the Guarani People)
– COIAB | Coordenação das Organizações Indígenas da Amazônia Brasileira
(Coordination of Indigenous Organizations in the Brazilian Amazon)
– Conselho Terena (Terena Council)
– Comissão Guarani Yvyrupá (Guarani Yvyrupá Commission)
– Organizations, collectives and activists who build the APIB Indigenous Quarantine observatory

Notes on Committee data

– The data from the National Committee for Indigenous Life and Memory, from APIB, includes both indigenous people who live in traditional territories and those who live in an urban context, who declare themselves and have ties with their people, as provided by Convention no. 169 of the ILO (ratified by Brazil);

– The Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health (Sesai), of the Ministry of Health, does not provide care and registration for indigenous people living in an urban context. APIB repudiates this measure and demands the urgent revocation of ordinance 070/2004 to ensure that SESAI serves all indigenous people;

– Data collection is decentralized through the articulation of several indigenous base organizations that make up the APIB;

– Data update is daily;

– Data disclosure takes place with the consolidation of the previous day’s data.

– The sources of the data are: APIB-based indigenous organizations, Fronts to confront Covid-19 organized in Brazil that collaborate with APIB, SESAI, Municipal and State Health Secretariats and the Federal Public Ministry.

– The graphics were produced in partnership with Instituto Socioambiental.

Confirmed cases:

– Due to the lack of mass testing across the country in the indigenous context, we estimate that there is a significant disparity between the number of confirmed cases and the actual number of people infected.

– The data collected by the Committee are from tests confirmed among indigenous people by municipal and state health departments and, eventually, by institutions such as the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), for example, which has collaborated in testing in some states for indigenous refugees from Venezuela, the Warao;

– Due to the lack of transparency and the lack of detail in Sesai’s information, it is not possible to check duplicate cases between the two databases. The number presented represents the sum of data reported by SESAI and verified by the Committee;

– We emphasize that APIB and its grassroots organizations have neither political intentions nor the conditions for human and financial resources to carry out Covid-19 tests among indigenous peoples. Our role is to ask the Federal Government to take urgent action on the alarming situation of indigenous peoples during the pandemic.


Death cases:

– Due to the divergence in the Sesai data collection procedure and the lack of transparency in the details of the information, it is not possible to check deaths that may be duplicated between the two databases (of the APIB and Sesai Committee). The number presented represents the sum of data reported by SESAI and verified by the Committee.