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DATE: January 2, 2019

SNIP: Brazil’s new far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has stripped the government department charged with protecting the country’s Indigenous people of much of its responsibilities, which distressed critics say could lead to the destruction of dozens of tribes.

Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported the decision was announced just hours after the new President was sworn in as the country’s leader on Tuesday (local time), and confirmed a pre-election pledge to roll back Indigenous rights and protections for the Amazon.

Critics of the change have described it as a “catastrophe” for Brazil’s 900,000 Indigenous people, who could face total annihilation.

Brazil is home to about 100 uncontacted Indigenous tribes, the most in the world, and their protection from outsiders is crucial to their survival.