World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Bolsonaro "declares war" on Brazil's indigenous people

Jair Bolsonaro has started his Presidency in the worst possible way for the indigenous peoples of Brazil. Taking responsibility for indigenous land demarcation away from FUNAI, the Indian affairs department, and giving it to the Agriculture Ministry is virtually a declaration of open warfare against Brazil’s tribal peoples.

Tereza Cristina, the new head of the Ministry, has long opposed tribal land rights, and championed the expansion of agriculture into indigenous territories. This is an assault on the rights, lives and livelihoods of Brazil’s first peoples – if their lands are not protected, they face genocide, and whole uncontacted tribes could be wiped out.

This onslaught on Brazil’s first peoples attacks the heart and soul of the Brazilian nation.

The theft of indigenous territories also sets the stage for environmental catastrophe. Tribal peoples are the best conservationists and guardians of the natural world and evidence proves they manage their environment and its wildlife better than anyone else.

Indigenous people are already resisting. The Aruak, Baniwa and Apurinã tribes have said: “We don’t want to be wiped out by this government’s actions. Our lands play a vital role in maintaining biodiversity. We are people, human beings, we have blood like you do, Mr President, we’re born, we grow… and then we die on our sacred land, like any person on Earth. We’re ready for dialogue, but we’re also ready to defend ourselves."

Sonia Guajajara, an indigenous leader and vice presidential candidate in the 2018 election, has said: "We will resist. If we're the first people to be attacked, we'll also be the first to react."

APIB, the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, says: “We have the right to exist. We won’t retreat. We’ll denounce this government around the world.”

Survival International Director Stephen Corry said today: "Survival has stood in solidarity with Brazil’s indigenous peoples for 50 years – for their survival, for the protection of Brazil’s most biodiverse territories, for the health of our planet and for all humanity. We will continue to campaign passionately for their lives and lands to be fully respected and defended."


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific Island Forum: Australia v Everyone Else On Climate Action

Traditionally, communiques capture the consensus reached at the meeting. In this case, the division on display between Australia and the Pacific meant the only commitment is to commission yet another report into what action needs to be taken. More>>

ALSO:

For NZ, It Was May 6: Earth Overshoot Day 2019 Is The Earliest Ever

Humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate. This is akin to using 1.75 Earths... More>>

ALSO:

Asylum: More Manus Refugees Fly To US But Hundreds Still In Limbo

“The US deal was never going to provide enough places for the refugees Australia has held on Manus and Nauru. There are over 1800 refugees needing resettlement,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. More>>

ALSO: