Thousands of tribal women decorated with feathers and body paint marched on Brazil’s capital yesterday denouncing the “genocidal policies” of President Jair Bolsonaro, who faces growing criticism over destruction of the Amazon.
Far-right Bolsonaro wants to develop the rainforest – seen as vital to combating climate change – by allowing more mining and farming in the region.
The latest official figures show a sharp increase in deforestation in recent months compared with a year earlier. Activists blame the rise on Bolsonaro’s anti-environment rhetoric.
But Bolsonaro has dismissed the data as lies and sacked the head of the government agency tasked with tracking tree clearing. Carrying bows, arrows and spears, the indigenous women advanced on Congress in Brasilia carrying a large banner that said “Resist to exist” as they demanded greater protection of their land.
“Bolsonaro wants to wipe out our lands, our ethnicities,” Potira Guajajara, a 22-year-old student from the northeastern state of Maranhao, told AFP. “There have been many invasions of our lands by hunters and gold miners.”
Brazil’s government has demarcated hundreds of territories since the 1980s for the exclusive use of its 800,000 indigenous inhabitants. Access by outsiders is strictly regulated.
Bolsonaro opposes demarcating more land, claiming indigenous people already live “like a zoo animal.” Elected last year with support from the powerful agriculture lobby, Bolsonaro has pledged to combat illegal deforestation.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
United States and Iran swap prisoners in rare act of cooperation
Musk's defamation win may reset legal landscape for social media
Tesla boss Elon Musk wins defamation trial over his 'pedo guy' tweet
Trump, South Korea's Moon discuss trying to maintain talks with North Korea
Shooting survivor sues San Diego-area synagogue over lax security
More Chileans get on their bicycles as protests hobble public transport
Chile performance artists’ anthem against sexual violence goes viral
Mexico eyes security co-operation with US
Trump faces deadline as House Democrats craft articles of impeachment