Thousands of indigenous people staged week-long annual protest against the Government that seeks to authorize mining exploitations in their territories.
Thousands of indigenous people staged week-long annual protest demonstrations against the Government that seeks to authorize mining exploitations in their territories in Brazil. Their protest started on April 6 and continued till April 14, 2022.
According to the ‘Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil’ (APIB), some 6,000 people from 176 different groups marched on Wednesday April 6 towards the National Congress in Brasilia as part of an annual protest demanding the protection of Indigenous land and rights. The indigenous people had started gathering since April 4.
Chanting and holding signs criticizing right-wing rulers, participants called for more Indigenous representation in the parliament, where there are currently no Indigenous elected officials.
Indigenous leaders and their supporters say the government has failed to control illegal mining and deforestation on Indigenous reserves.
“6,000 people in Brasilia already represent 176 peoples, together to fight against the anti-indigenous agenda of the current Government and ‘villagize’ politics,” the movement for the “Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil” (APIB) said on Twitter.
The 6th April protest was one of the first official acts of the Free Land Camp, which continued till April 14, during which the indigenous people gathered in the central avenues of Brasilia for dozens of activities and demonstrations organized by the indigenous movement.
The protest is considered the largest in the country and takes place in the same period in which the National Congress was to vote on a Bill, which authorizes mining on indigenous lands.
At the beginning of March, the Chamber of Deputies approved the processing of this bill as a matter of urgency, and it could be voted on before the end of April.
The executive coordinator of APIB, Sonia Guajajara, said on her social networks that she met with the indigenous deputy Joenia Wapichana and other parliamentarians who fight against the destruction of indigenous lands.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s former left-wing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva promised Indigenous people that he would stop illegal mining on their reservations and recognize their land claims if he wins the presidential election in October.
Lula visited a protest camp in Brasilia where several thousand members of Indigenous tribes had gathered to oppose plans by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro to allow commercial agriculture, mining and oil exploration on their lands.
Illegal mining has soared in the Amazon as gold prices have surged in recent years and mining destroyed a record 125sq km (48sq miles) of the Brazilian Amazon last year, according to official figures.
Courtesy: TeleSur, Al-Jazeera and other international media
Photo Courtesy: Reuters, AFP and AP