NewsLatin AmericaDeputies approve project that limits the protection of indigenous lands

    Deputies approve project that limits the protection of indigenous lands

    The bill would authorize the movement of different indigenous groups from certain areas that cannot prove that they have inhabited the area since a date prior to October 1988. Of the 610 spaces identified as places of aboriginal residence, only 487 are delimited by law . The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples rejected the proposal of the Lower House. The initiative now goes to the Senate. If approved there, it would be up to President Lula to approve or veto the document.

    A measure that, if approved in full, would significantly affect the indigenous population in Brazil. This May 30, the Chamber of Deputies of the South American giant approved by majority the basis of a bill that would hinder the permanence of these indigenous groups in their lands of residence.

    The key to the project, also known as the ‘Temporary Framework’, lies in the request that only those areas that have been occupied by ethnic groups until October 5, 1988, the date on which the current Magna Carta was established, be recognized as indigenous areas. who rules the country.

    283 votes in favor were enough for the text to pass to the Senate. After its study, debate and eventual approval, it will be sent to the Planalto Palace to be signed or vetoed by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

    Among the most controversial sections of the measure in process is the item that would allow the expulsion of tribes if they do not prove their stay within the agreed period so that these lands can be marketed.

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    The current figures for land occupation do not bode well. Of the 610 spaces identified as a place of aboriginal residence, only 487 are delimited under the law.

    According to the EFE news agency, one union will benefit from this whole plan: that of rural owners. This has a broad representation in the Congress of the Republic. With the expulsion of the indigenous people, they can immediately access the land.

    During the four years of Jair Bolsonaro’s mandate, the land delimitation process was at a level of almost total paralysis. Mining was even allowed in demarcated and protected areas, despite not being authorized by environmental laws.

    Official and NGO rejection

    A threat to the subsistence of the ethnic groups that may be affected. This was the common factor that outlined the call for official attention, as well as non-governmental organizations.

    The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples, created by President Lula, issued a statement harshly criticizing the lower house’s decision.

    “It represents a legislated genocide because it directly affects isolated indigenous peoples, since it authorizes deliberate access to territories in which peoples live who have not yet had any contact with society or with other indigenous peoples.”, sentenced the institution.

    For her part, the minister of this portfolio, Sonia Guajajara, asked Lula to veto the project, in case he reached his office. She also stressed that, if given the green light, the legislation will cause significant damage, not only to the affected towns, but also to the economy.

    Within this framework, fifty environmental groups grouped as the ‘Climate Observatory’ warned that if this legislative step is not stopped, conflicts in the countryside will increase, in addition to pointing out that this project “violates the constitution.”

    Bolsonaro left, but the extermination continues,” they concluded.

    The indigenous people take to the streets

    In this context, a group of Guarani indigenous people took to the streets on Tuesday to show their disagreement with the measure being discussed in Congress regarding their lands.

    The state of Sao Paulo, the most populous in the country, was the scene of the blockade of one of its main avenues. Members of indigenous groups set tires on fire on the Bandeirantes highway, a key transportation artery between the regional capital and the port of Santos, Brazil’s busiest.

    The Guarani indigenous people held a demonstration against the bill that would make it difficult to remain in their territories of residence. Tires were set on fire on the Bandeirantes highway, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 30, 2023. © AFP – Allison Sales

    According to local authorities, the protest caused a traffic jam of about five kilometers. At the beginning of the week, another outbreak of demonstrations was reported at the Law School of the University of Sao Paulo.

    The plan of the Brazilian Congress has been brewing since last Wednesday, when it approved the “urgency status”, an internal fast track to vote on the controversial bill in less than a week.

    Disagreements to the view

    It is hoped that this is not the only uncomfortable situation that the Da Silva government faces with the indigenous people. There are several infrastructure projects that may be contradictory: attractive for the economy, but serious for the subsistence of the indicated communities.

    Among them is the continuation of a railway megaproject known as ‘Ferrograo’. Those who oppose it will accelerate deforestation in ancestral Metuktire areas, a situation that could strain the relationship between the Kayapo leader Raoni Metuktire and Lula, after having walked together hand in hand on the day of the inauguration of the leftist leader as president of Brazil. .

    Native authorities have described the design as “the railway of indigenous genocide”, however, last January, the Minister of Transportation labeled the plan as a top priority. For the moment, its construction is stopped pending legal authorization that allows cutting down trees in protected areas.

    The list of similar plans increases, the BR-319 highway, an abandoned road that is trying to be repaved for the transfer of basic products and the oil drilling project in an area near the mouth of the Amazon River, stopped pending approval from the local environmental agency Ibama.

    The Belo Monte hydroelectric dam is not far behind. An idea designed under the first mandate of the Workers’ Party and which is awaiting a renewal of the environmental license. Its construction displaced some 40,000 people and has led to total drought in several sections of the Xingu River, according to the AP news agency.

    With EFE and AP

    Source: France 24

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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