One of the main indigenous leaders of the Amazon dies from coronavirus
The cacique Messías Kokama, considered the main indigenous leader of the city of Manaos, capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas, died a victim of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and his community fired him this Thursday without being able to pay him all the tributes with their traditional rituals .
"We lost our leader, a cacique who dreamed and idealized the first indigenous neighborhood. Today he leaves us his example of persistence and a legacy conquered with struggle and courage in the face of conflicts and obstacles," Professor Claudia Baré, also founder, told the press. of that community in the largest urban center of the Amazon.
Kokama, who was hospitalized and died on Wednesday due to respiratory problems, was one of the founding leaders six years ago of the Parque das Tribus-Tarumá Community, the first indigenous neighborhood located in Manaus and inhabited by 3,000 people from 700 families from 35 ethnic groups from all over the state.
The death of the cacique was reported by his cousin and teacher Altací Robim, who reported that Kokama remained hospitalized for a week at the Delphina Aziz Hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 in a clinical test.
Robim, also a spokesperson for the Parque das Tribus-Tarumá Community, estimates that there are more than forty people infected in the neighborhood and that at the regional level the Kokama ethnic group, which has 14,300 people in settlements, is the most affected by the spread of the coronavirus in the entire state.
As of Wednesday, the Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health of the Ministry of Health had reported 277 confirmed cases and 19 deaths of indigenous people throughout the country. That of the cacique is the first in Manaus, the capital that had 37 contagions in natives.
According to the latest balance, Brazil officially added 188,974 confirmed cases and 13,149 deaths. The state of Amazonas, which borders Colombia, Peru and Venezuela, has already reached 15,816 infections and 1,160 deaths.
Amazonas has thirteen cities among the twenty with the highest incidence of the pandemic in the country. The municipality of Santo Antonio do Iça tops the list with 1,241 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
The mortality rate also presents twelve Amazon cities among the top twenty. The Tabatinga municipality, on the border with Colombia, leads this rate in the country with 57.7 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.