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SOURCE: Think Progress

DATE: March 19, 2019

SNIP: Like Trump, Bolsonaro has shown disdain for international climate diplomacy. He has openly considered pulling out of the Paris climate agreement and walked back Brazil’s promise to host this year’s U.N. climate change conference. And while Trump’s white nationalism has certainly manifested in policies carried out by the EPA and the Department of Interior, Bolsonaro’s favors to businesses interested in rolling back environmental protections directly reflects his own racist rhetoric against Brazil’s 900,000 indigenous people, who hold about 13 percent of Brazil’s lands, mostly in the Amazon.

Bolsonaro’s priorities were on full display during the first week of his administration. In one of his first acts in office, Bolsonaro transferred responsibilities for creating and regulating indigenous land reserves from Brazil’s indigenous affairs agency to the Agriculture Ministry. Bolsonaro’s choice for agricultural minister was part of the agribusiness caucus in the lower house and has slammed critiques of the industry, while the secretary overseeing land reform is an “extreme, hardline, right-wing, violent rancher.”

Brazil’s indigenous people refer to the agribusiness industry as their “historic enemy,” Poirier said. As industries like mining and large-scale farming and ranching seek to expand further into the Amazon, they have partnered with a conservative political bloc, known as the ruralistas, to strip indigenous land protections.

While Bolsonaro’s government carries out policy attacks, literal attacks are also occurring in indigenous territories. At least 14 territories have been systematically invaded over the past three months by organized and armed “mafias,” who intend to scout logging, farming, and mining areas.