Tribal leaders meet in the Amazon to protest Bolsonaro's policies
"The riches Bolsonaro speaks of are white man’s riches, to buy cars and planes and ranches. Our riches are in the forest and the rivers here," the Kayapó tribe leader Megaron Txucarramãe said.
A four-day-long tribal meeting of Brazilian Indigenous leaders has begun in the Amazon to protest far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's push to open their reservations for commercial mining and agriculture.
The meeting is being attended by several tribal leaders and seeks to develop a contingency to combat Bolsonaro's plan to exploit this historical region for commercial purposes.
"The riches Bolsonaro speaks of are white man’s riches, to buy cars and planes and ranches. Our riches are in the forest and the rivers here," the Kayapó tribe leader Megaron Txucarramãe told Reuters.
Brazil-based O Globo newspaper has received a draft copy of the legislation that is going to be presented by the government, which would not just open up the reservation to mining, but also to oil and gas exploration.
The legislation also includes the building of new hydroelectric dams and commercial farms with genetically modified crops currently banned by law on tribal lands.
Furthermore the draft leaked to O Globo says that the Indigenous communities would be consulted on economic projects, as stipulated in Brazil’s Constitution, but they would not have the power to veto projects decided by the government.
"The year begins with this big meeting - said Sonia Guajajara, head of an umbrella group called the Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) - called by Raoni to draw up strategies to protect the Amazon from the threats, the criticism and the destruction that the Bolsonaro government is causing."