The Brazilian president,Jair Bolsonaro, has presented on Wednesday a bill that will allow the opening of indigenous lands to agriculture and mining, among other activities, as reported by the G1 news portal.
“It will be possible to mining, generate energy, transmit energy, exploit oil and gas and cultivate indigenous lands,” said the head ofPresidency CabinetBrazilian, Onyx Lorenzoni, in an act on the first 400 days of Government.
Thus, he has compared the project with theGolden Law– Legislation dating back to 1888 and ending slavery in Brazil – since, in his opinion, it will mean the “liberation” of the indigenous people.
LorenzoniHe stressed that many of these activities already occur illegally and that the indigenous people only have to lament or enter into conflicts that only lead to violence and death.
According to preliminary information obtained by the aforementioned media, the bill provides “minimum criteria” to consult the affected indigenous communities and the payment of compensation for those affected by activities such as mining or hydroelectric power generation. The measure has to be approved first by theChamber of Deputiesand the Senate to enter into force.
The text opens the possibility for indigenous people to economically exploit theirlandthrough activities such as agriculture, livestock, mining or tourism.
“The big step will depend on the Parliament, (the parliamentarians) will suffer pressure from environmentalists, those people from the environment; if one day I can, I confine them all in theAmazon, since they like the environment so much, and left the ‘Amazonians’ here in urban areas, “Bolsonaro said.
Groups of environmentalists say that these lands are the best way to stop the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, considered by many to be the best natural defense against climate change because their trees absorb huge amounts ofcarbon dioxide.
However, both Bolsonaro and several agricultural sector leaders have complained that the indigenous peoples of Brazil represent less than one1% of the populationand occupy 13% of the territory.