Chief Raoni Metuktire, the ethnic Kayapo leader who became a symbol of the struggle for indigenous rights and the preservation of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, has recovered from illness after being hospitalized for 10 days, a doctor said.
Aoni had been taken to his private hospital in Sinop, a town in the state of Mato Grosso in western Brazil, from diarrhea and dehydration from his home in the Xingu Indigenous Reserve, his second cousin, Patxon Metuktire, said.
Raoni had tested negative for the new coronavirus.
Kayapo ethnic leader, believed to be about 90 years old, said at a news conference, “Now I am healed. I wanted to tell you that illness comes anytime.
“Think about it and love and respect each other because we don’t know tomorrow. The disease does not warn when it comes. ‘
Raoni “is still a little weak, but strong enough to continue leading his people,” said Dr. Douglas Yanai.
He added that Raoni had been formally discharged, but would be leaving the hospital later on Saturday while logistics for his trip home would be arranged.
According to the doctor, Raoni suffered from low blood pressure and anemia.
He had ulcers and had to undergo two blood transfusions. The native leader was also very upset by his wife’s recent death.
Raoni has been campaigning for decades to protect indigenous areas in the Amazon and the rainforest itself.
A 1978 documentary, Raoni: The Fight For The Amazon, helped make him famous, as did a 1989 tour with the musician Sting.
He was an outspoken critic of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and visited European leaders last year to denounce the leader’s call to develop indigenous countries in the rainforest.
Bolsonaro, who rejected a call from French President Emmanuel Macron to meet Raoni, said developing country is key to Brazil’s economic prosperity.