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afv, international awareness campaign on the deforestation of the Amazon



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 3.000 Native Americans 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.

Chief Raoni draws 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 warns the world about the disappearance of hundreds of indigenous tribes and the systematic destruction of the rainforest.

A charity event organized by Survival International in London, with the opening of the documentary Indians, allowed to raise funds 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.


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. Bernard Laine, a French journalist, obtains the support of Television Française 1 (TF1), the oldest and most viewed French TV channel.


AFV was established in March 9th, 1989 and plans 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 French 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 created an  institute in the town of Colider, 200 km from the indigenous territory. It still exists as of today.

The fourth international forest protection awareness campaign is launched. The book “Raoni, the memoirs of an Indian chief” is published, with a foreword by French 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 peoples in the Amazon and warns the world about the consequences of the Amazon destruction.  

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Brazilian President Itamar Franco signs the official decree to protect all Kayapos territories.

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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.


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 the 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.

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Chief Raoni and French President François Mitterand


Chief Raoni in Place de la Concorde (Paris)


Chief Raoni in Tokyo


     Chief Raoni with Pope John Paul II 


First sketches of the Xingu Institute




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

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Chief Raoni and Mayor of Brussels, Philippe Close

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Chief Raoni, Chief Tapi and Bemoro speaking at the climate march in Brussels

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Chief Raoni feeding girafes in Pairi Daiza (Belgium)

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Tapi, Bemoro, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Raoni and Kaiulu

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Jean-Pierre Dutilleux, Chief Raoni and Mayor of Lyon, Gérard Collomb in Tête d'Or park (France)

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Bemoro, Chief Raoni and Jacques Rocher

Chief Raoni and Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo

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UN blue helmets decorating Chief Raoni with peace medal in Lyon

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Tapi Yawalapiti, Leonardo Di Caprio, and Chief Raoni in Los Angeles

In 1989, AFV planned an international awareness campaign on the deforestation of the Amazon, the first of its kind around 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, which was 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. They met with world leaders, giving Raoni, the "Cacique" (tribal chief), an international stature. "Rainforest" foundations were created in twelve countries.


Thanks to donations from all around the world, the demarcation of the Kayapo Indigenous' ancestral lands could be completed. In August 1993, the Brazilian President Itamar Franco signed a decree officializing the creation of a vast indigenous territory of  45,000 square miles. With the existing Xingu Indigenous Territory created by Claudio, Leonardo and Orlando Villas-Bôas in 1960, the two bordering territories cover a total area of  55,200 square miles.


After 20 years of struggles, the dream of Raoni 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 many more international tours of the Cacique Raoni : in 2000, 2001, 2010, 2011, 2019 and 2023.  The last campaign took Raoni, Tapi Yawalapiti and Watatakalu Yawalapiti, his spiritual heirs, once again to Europe.


Since its inception, AFV has also carried out numerous medical assistance missions, contributed to the construction of new dwellings destroyed  by forest fires, strengthened cultural, linguistic and territorial protection and financed countless ad-hoc relief operations.

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