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  • Munduruku Indigenous demand their territory

    Munduruku Indigenous demand their territory's demarcation in Brasilia, Brazil, April 4, 2018. | Photo: EFE

Published 9 April 2019

Brazil's far-right President criticized the policies regarding the Indigenous territories because they hamper economic projects in the Amazon region.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro expressed his desire to 'exploit' the Brazilian Amazon together with the United States and 'revise´the limits of the Indigenous territories.

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Refering to his March meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, Bolsonaro said that "I told him... that I want to open up for them to explore the Amazon partnership... the demarcation that I can review, I will review."

During a radio interview broadcasted Monday, the Brazilian far-right politician also criticized what he called the "demarcation industry" and argued that the Indigenous and African people would be better off if they "sell or exploit" their lands.

Last January, among one of his first moves as President, Bolsonaro transferred the responsibility of setting Indigenous reservation boundaries from the Justice Ministry to the Agriculture Ministry, an institution which has traditionally defended the interests of white landowners.

"Bolsonaro wants to deliver the Amazon to Trump. In an interview with Jovem Pan, Bolsonaro said that he proposed Trump a partnership to explore the Amazon. The business desire for this natural heritage shows us: lack of commitment to environmental conservation, lack of respect for indigenous peoples and servility to the United States.”

Such a decision was harshly criticized across the world by human rights groups and environmental activists, who denounced Bolsonaro’s neoliberal policies, adding that it will accelerate the presence of agribusiness, deforestation and the violation of human rights in the Amazon.

Bolsonaro, who is about to celebrate 100 days in office next Wednesday, considers that the demarcation of indigenous lands is a "wrong policy" because it prevents the Amazon's economic development.

"The 'demarcation industry'... "makes any project in the Amazon unfeasible," he said and stressed that "I want to explore the Amazon region in partnership with the United States."

During the interview, Bolsonaro made evident his desires when speaking about the important mineral resources located at the the state of Roraima, which borders Guyana and Venezuela.


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