Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro rolls back Indigenous tribe protections

Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro rolls back Indigenous tribe protections

SOURCE: ABC News 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...
Bolsonaro’s election is catastrophic news for Brazil’s indigenous tribes

Bolsonaro’s election is catastrophic news for Brazil’s indigenous tribes

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: October 31, 2018 SNIP: Brazil has just elected as its president a far-right nationalist with authoritarian tendencies and fascist inclinations. The country’s 900,000-strong indigenous people are among the many minority groups Jair Bolsonaro has frequently targeted with vitriolic hostility. “It’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry wasn’t as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated their Indians,” he once said. If he enacts his campaign promises, the first peoples of Brazil face catastrophe; in some cases, genocide. Survival works closely with groups from the Guajajara tribe in Brazil’s Maranhão state, who have taken it upon themselves to protect what remains of this eastern edge of the Amazon rainforest; not only for the hundreds of Guajajara families who call it home, but also their far less numerous neighbours: the uncontacted Awá. These “guardians of the Amazon” are subject to violent attacks from the powerful logging mafias who operate illegally in the area. Some estimates suggest up to 80 members of the tribe have been killed since 2000. Meanwhile, in the north, in the largest area of forest under indigenous control in the world, the Yanomami are besieged by illegal gold miners. The tribe, whose territory extends over the border into Venezuela, is suffering a measles epidemic, most likely as a result of these invaders. As well as sickness, these miners have mounted violent attacks on some communities, often with impunity. In May, two uncontacted Yanomami were reportedly murdered by gold miners working illegally near their community. These violent incursions are likely to increase as loggers, land grabbers and miners feel emboldened by Bolsonaro, and make greater and...