HISTORY AND MILESTONES
In 1989, AFV planned an international awareness campaign on the deforestation of the Amazon, the first of its kind around the world, 17 countries in 60 days.
The spokesperson for the indigenous people was a chief of the Kayapo tribe called Raoni already known to the greater public thanks to the film Raoni, directed by Jean-Pierre Dutilleux, selected at the Cannes Film Festival in 1977 and nominated for an Oscar in 1978.
During this highly publicized world tour, Raoni was accompanied by the North American Indigenous leader Red Crow. The group met with world leaders, giving Raoni, the "Cacique" (tribal chief) an international stature. "Forêt Vierge" or "Rainforest" foundations were created in twelve countries.
Thanks to donations from all over the world, the demarcation of the Kayapo Indigenous' ancestral lands could be completed. In August 1993, Brazilian President Itamar Franco signed a decree officializing the creation of an immense reserve of 39,870 square miles. With the Xingu Indigenous Territory, created by Claudio, Leonardo and Orlando Villas-Bôas in 1960, the two bordering territories cover a total area of 50,193 square miles.
After 20 years of struggles, the dream of Raoni and his Belgian friend finally became true.
Today, the Kayapo and Xingu territories, home to dozens of indigenous tribes, are considered one of the largest indigenous rainforest reserves in the world.
After 1989, AFV organized five more international tours of the Cacique Raoni : in 2000, 2001, 2010 and 2011. The latest tour in 2019 took Raoni, Tapi Yawalapiti and Kaiulu Kaiamura, his spiritual heirs, once again to Europe and the US.
Since its inception, AFV has carried out numerous medical assistance missions in the reserve, contributed to the construction of new dwellings destroyed by forest fires, strengthened cultural and linguistic protection and financed countless ad-hoc relief operations.
ACTIONS AND MILESTONES
First encounter between Chief Raoni and Jean-Pierre Dutilleux, a 22-year-old Belgian, whilst filming his first documentary Indians in the Xingu.
An encounter in the Xingu is organized between Raoni and Red Crow, two of America´s greatest indigenous leaders. A new alliance is born.
A new opening for the film Raoni is shot in Washington with Marlon Brando showing 3000 North American indigenous people protesting against the US government. Brando also narrates the English version of the film.
Raoni is nominated for an Oscar in 1978, a first for a Brazilian film. The film is released in Brazil and chief Raoni appears on the front pages of all major Brazilian newspapers.
Chief Raoni starts his life long battle to protect the indigenous people and their rainforest.
Jean-Pierre Dutilleux and Chief Raoni draw the boundaries of the Kayapó Territory to be protected.
The movie Raoni is selected at Cannes. During a press conference for the film, Peter Ustinov alerts the world about the disappearance of hundreds of indigenous tribes and the systematic destruction of the rainforests.
Jean-Pierre Dutilleux organizes a charity event alongside Survival International, with the opening of Indians in London. Funds were raised for the Villas-Bôas to finance a vaccination campaign in The Xingu National Park.
The second international awareness and fundraising campaign tours 6 European countries. AFV organizes a meeting between Raoni and French President Jacques Chirac to discuss the Amazon forest preservation.
French President Jacques Chirac financed a feasibility study for the creation of the Xingu Institute, imagined by Jean-Pierre Dutilleux considering the needs analyzed in the territory.
Jean-Pierre Dutilleux returns to the Xingu and directs a 35MM film about Raoni with the participation of Claudio Villas-Bôas.
With the blessing of Brazilian President Sarney following his famous words, ”If the world wants to save the Amazon, the world has to pay for it“, Raoni obtains a passport from the Brazilian authorities to travel the world with Sting and Jean-Pierre. Bernard Laine, a French journalist, obtains the support of Television Française 1 (TF1), the oldest and most viewed French TV channel.
Jean-Pierre Dutilleux and Bernard Laine establish AFV on March 9th, 1989 and plan the first international Amazon rainforest awareness and fundraising campaign for the protection of the Amazon rainforest and its indigenous populations.
Raoni meets French President François Mitterrand, Pope John Paul II, Prince Charles, Carlos King of Spain, the Prime Minister of Australia, and government representatives of 17 countries.
Funds are raised for the demarcation of the new Xingu reserve, as dreamed by Raoni.
Third international awareness and fundraising campaign, with meetings all around Europe.
Delivery of the feasibility study of the Xingu Institute in early September 2001, designed by architect Jean-Christophe Dubois and budgeted by Ambassador Eric Danon.
Unfortunately, due to the September 11 attacks in New York, the international community lost interest in the Amazon and the project was shelved. Nevertheless, Raoni followed Jean-Pierre's idea and opened a small institute in the town of Colider, 200 km from the indigenous territory. It still exists today.
The fourth international forest protection awareness campaign is launched. Jean Pierre Dutilleux´s book “Raoni, the memoirs of an Indian chief” is published, with a foreword by President Jacques Chirac.
Raoni meets Prince Albert II of Monaco and other celebrities.
Raoni is made Honorary Citizen at the Paris City Hall by Mayor Bernard Delanoë. He also tours Europe once again to raise funds for the protection of the Kayapo territories under siege by illegal loggers, gold diggers and cattle ranchers.
Raoni voices his concern for all indigenous people in the Amazon and warns the world about the consequences of the Amazon destruction.
Brazilian President Itamar Franco signs the official decree to protect all Kayapos’ territories.
In partnership with AFV, the Mikea Forest Association has built a school allowing Mikea children in the village of Bedo (Madagascar) to receive education, a fundamental universal right.
Chief Raoni in Place de la Concorde
Chief Raoni and French President François Mitterand
Chief Raoni and Jean-Pierre Dutilleux in Tokyo
Chief Raoni and Jean-Pierre Dutilleux with Pope John II
First sketches of the Xingu Institute
In May, AFV organized a sixth campaign with cacique Raoni and cacique Tapi, his spiritual heir. They travel throughout Europe, raising once again awareness for the issues faced by indigenous peoples. They meet with several notable politicians and public figures including Pope Francis, French President Macron, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, the Prince of Monaco and the city mayors of Paris, Lyon, Brussels and Geneva.
In November, Raoni and Tapi meet numerous celebrities that voice their support for his cause in Los Angeles, among them Leonardo di Caprio.
Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Henri de Nasseau and Chief Raoni
Chief Tapi Yawalapiti, Pope Francis and Chief Raoni
French President Emmanuel Macron and Chief Raoni
XINGU INDIGENOUS TERRITORY
Chief Raoni, Jean-Pierre Dutilleux and Mayor of Brussels, Philippe Close
Chief Raoni, Chief Tapi and Bemoro speaking at the climate march in Brussels
Chief Raoni feeding girafes in Pairi Daiza (Belgium)
Tapi, Bemoro, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Raoni and Kaiulu
Jean-Pierre Dutilleux, Chief Raoni and Mayor of Lyon, Gérard Collomb in Tête d'Or park (France)
UN blue helmets decorating Chief Raoni with peace medal in Lyon
Chief Raoni and Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo
Bemoro, Chief Raoni and Jacques Rocher
Tapi Yawalapiti, Leonardo Di Caprio, Chief Raoni and Jean-Pierre Dutilleux in Los Angeles