Brazil Restricts Recognition of Indigenous Habitats: ‘This is Genocide and an Attack on the Environment’ | outside

On Tuesday, Brazil’s parliament approved a law restricting the demarcation of indigenous lands. This is a setback for left-wing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has revived policies to protect indigenous peoples and the Amazons.

The bill, passed by the Chamber of Deputies by 283 votes to 155, establishes indigenous peoples’ rights to the land they occupied only when the 1988 constitution was promulgated. But indigenous Brazilians are resisting. According to them, some regions were not occupied in 1988 because they were expelled over time, especially during the military dictatorship (1964-1985).

The bill, which still has to pass the Senate before it can take effect, has been tabled by pro-farm MPs and other opposition groups. Under Lula’s predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022), deforestation increased sharply.

On Tuesday, Brazil’s Minister of Indigenous Peoples, Sonia Guajara, lamented the passage of the law “ending hope for the future.” She added, “This is genocide against the indigenous population, but it is also an attack on the environment.”

According to scientists, the demarcation of indigenous territories is an important barrier to deforestation of the Amazon, the largest rainforest in the world. Brazil has a total of 764 territories that belong to indigenous peoples, but a third of them have yet to be demarcated, according to figures from the National Foundation for Indigenous Peoples (FUNAI). For the first time in five years, the Brazilian government recognized six new territories in April.

Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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