January 28, 2023

The illegal invasion and exploitation of indigenous lands in Brazil triples

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(CNN) — Invasions and illegal exploitation of natural resources on indigenous lands in Brazil have tripled since President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019, according to a report by the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) of Brazil.

“This government favors the exploitation and private appropriation of indigenous territories,” the council said.

In 2021, 305 such incidents occurred, affecting at least 226 indigenous lands in 22 states in Brazil, compared to just 109 cases that occurred in 2018, CIMI reported.

Brazil has 697 indigenous territories, according to Brazil’s indigenous protection agency FUNAI, but only 417 are fully recognized. All others are still under study or awaiting government recognition.

“The struggle of indigenous peoples is not just the struggle of indigenous peoples. It is the responsibility of the djuruá (the white people), because you are the ones who most destroy our planet, our lands,” said Neusa Kunha Tukua, leader of the Guarani Nhandeva people at the presentation of the report.

These incidents have been on the rise since 2016, but have intensified under the Bolsonaro government through a series of measures by the federal government, the council explained. Not only were invasions increasing each year, but also brutality and violence against indigenous peoples, CIMI reported.

“In addition to the quantitative increase in cases and lands affected by the illegal action of miners, loggers, hunters, fishermen and land usurpers, among others, the invaders intensified their presence and the brutality of their actions in indigenous territories. This situation was explicit in cases such as that of the Munduruku people in Pará and the Yanomami people in Roraima and Amazonas,” the council explained.

“Among these actions are the regulations created by the Federal Government and its allies in Congress to dismantle the constitutional protection of indigenous peoples and their territories,” the report adds.

According to the study, the most affected indigenous communities in Brazil were the Yanomami, Munduruku, Pataxó, Muras, Uru-eu-wau-waus, Karipuna, Chiquitanos and Kadiwéus.

CNN has reached out to Brazil’s environment ministry for comment.

Is the Amazon safe in the hands of Bolsonaro? 1:32



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