Raoni and his “son” Emmanuel Macron kiss in a ceremony in the Amazon

The President of the Republic visited Brazil.

Raoni and his “son” Emmanuel Macron kiss in a ceremony in the Amazon

The President of the Republic visited Brazil. He presented the Legion of Honor to indigenous leader Raoni.

After his visit to Guyana last week, Emmanuel Macron was visiting Brazil this Tuesday March 26. Accompanied by his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the French president decorated Chief Raoni Metuktire with the Legion of Honor. The leader of the Kayapo people has become an international figure in the fight to save the Amazon from deforestation and to defend the indigenous peoples who reside there.

The nighttime ceremony was held in the heart of the forest, on the island of Combu near the town of Bélem in northern Brazil. An unusual setting for the decoration ceremony which is usually held at the Elysée Palace in Paris. After awarding the title of Officer of the Legion of Honor to Chief Raoni, the latter hugged Mr. Macron. The French president praised the investment of the 90-year-old indigenous leader: "You have never stopped, you never stop."

Emmanuel Macron also declared: "Yes Raoni, you have carried this fight perhaps even further than others (...). Very modestly I wanted to say that we will continue to lead it alongside you". To which leader Raoni replied: “I consider Lula as my brother, Macron as my son.” Before calling on the two presidents to further support the Amazon cause to ensure “more indigenous lands” for indigenous peoples.

During this ceremony, Chief Raoni also called on the two leaders to support him “to win the Nobel Peace Prize”. The Kayapo chief is in fact regularly cited among the potential candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize. President Lula responded: “I can tell you, comrade Raoni, that there is no one on planet Earth who deserves to win the Nobel Peace Prize more than you.” The indigenous leader maintains good relations with the current president of Brazil, unlike his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, whom the Kayapo leader had accused of "crimes against humanity" at the International Criminal Court. Chef Raoni went to President Lula’s inauguration ceremony last year.