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Brazil Indigenous Protest to Conclude

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Brazil Indigenous Protest to Conclude

Brazil Indigenous Protest to Conclude
Photo: Survival International

Brazilian Indigenous groups will conclude a 10-day protest today in Brasilia today.

Protests followed proposals introduced by President Jair Bolsonaro’s government allowing commercial mining and agriculture on Indigenous reservations.

Bolsonaro claims land must be opened for exploration of minerals to lessen Brazil’s dependence on fertilizer imports for 85% of its needs. With the outbreak of conflict in Eastern Europe, concern over supply shortages and price increases entered Bolsonaro’s radar. Russia accounted for 22% of Brazil’s imported fertilizers in 2021 worth almost US$3.2 billion.

Expect the Bolsonaro government to force the bill through Congress.  The bill will likely lead to an increase in deforestation, the seizure of indigenous lands and further violence between land holders and local tribe groups in the long-term. The APIB predicts the bill would lead to the destruction of 16 million hectares of Amazon rainforest and result in annual losses of US$5 billion in ecosystem services.

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Furthermore, the bill is likely to further hinder the chances of Bolsonaro’s re-election in the 2022 Presidential election as voter dissatisfaction remains high over his environmental policies and COVID-19 mismanagement. However, Bolsonaro’s bill aims to boost the economy heading into the election while also appealing to his voter base, especially the powerful agribusiness sector.

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