Global Justice Ecology Project received this video from a Brazilian activist on the ground there. The video comes from the Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil (APIB). It is a strong critique against Brazil’s newly inaugurated right wing fascist President Jair Bolsonaro and his administration’s plans for Indigenous Peoples in Brazil.
Shortly after his inauguration Bolsonaro moved the Indigenous affairs agency FUNAI into a new Ministry Ministry of Human Rights, Family and Women. The incoming Minister, Damares Alves is an evangelical pastor. FUNAI, the National Indian Foundation, was responsible for the last 30 years to map out and protect lands traditionally inhabited and used by Indigenous peoples. It was charged with preventing invasions of Indigenous territories by outsiders.
Bolsanoro also announced that the regulation and creation of new Indigenous reservations and quilombos [ancestral Afro-descendent territories] is now controlled by the Agriculture Ministry – which is heavily influenced by the powerful agribusiness lobby. The demarcation of Indigenous land was carried out by FUNAI until now. This change puts Indigenous and Afro-descendent territories at great risk for greater exploitation and appropriation by national and transnational companies.
Critics say Bolsonaro’s plan to open Indigenous reservations to commercial activity will destroy native cultures and languages by integrating the tribes into Brazilian society.
Brazil and China are the only two countries in the world to have legalized commercial development of genetically engineered trees. This new move by the Bolsonaro regime threatens to expand the social and ecologcial disaster of industrial eucalyptus plantations and future GE eucalyptus plantations onto Indigenous and Quilombo lands.
Bolsonaro wrote on twitter “More than 15% of our national territory is demarcated for indigenous groups and Quilombolas. Less than 1 million people live in these isolated territories, that are, in fact, exploited and manipulated by NGOs. We will assimilate these citizens and value all Brazilians”.
Photo Caption: Forest in Brazil’s north clearcut to expand a soy plantation. Photo: Petermann/GJEP