Thu. Dec 12th, 2019

The Attorney General's Office demands to revoke a rule that affects indigenous people without reservation in Brazil



The Brazilian Public Ministry demanded on Tuesday the "immediate revocation" of a rule of the Government of President Jair Bolsonaro that prohibits state officials from providing assistance in lands occupied by Indians that have not been officially recognized as indigenous reserves.

In a recommendation sent to the state National Foundation of the Indian (Funai), the Federal Public Ministry of Brazil and the Public Defender of the Union demanded that the body responsible for the country's indigenous policy "guarantee the provision of all services to the communities although their lands have not been regularized. "

"It is the primary responsibility of the Funai to attend to the Indians regardless of the status of their territories," the Attorney General warned in the document, which he published entirely on his website.

According to the inspection body, by not allowing its officials to enter unregulated indigenous lands, Funai prevents the normal operation of 119 groups constituted precisely to analyze the claims of indigenous communities so that their lands are recognized, delimited and converted into Reservations.

The note adds that these groups "have been in default for more than 26 years" for not having complied with transitory provisions of the 1988 Constitution that gave a period of five years for the State to regularize all the country's indigenous reserves.

Although the current reserves extend over 13% of the Brazilian territory, there are currently 236 processes in Brazil to regularize new reserves and 400 claims from other groups so that ancestral territories are recognized, delimited and regularized.

According to organizations that defend the rights of Indians, the questioned Funai directive leaves thousands of indigenous people without protection or assistance from the State, including several ethnic groups living in isolation and without contact with "civilization."

According to the Attorney General's Office, assistance to indigenous people regardless of their situation is foreseen both in the Constitution of Brazil and in declarations of the United Nations Organization (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAS) signed by the country.

The Public Ministry established a period of five days for Funai to comply with the recommendations without the need to initiate civil, criminal and administrative liability proceedings.

The request of the Public Ministry represents another setback to Bolsonaro's indigenist policy since the Supreme Court of Brazil suspended last August the decree with which the ultra-rightist leader tried to transfer all decisions on the demarcation of reserves of the Funai to the Ministry of Agriculture , which is commanded by politicians linked to landowners.

Since assuming his mandate last January 1, Bolsonaro has said that he does not intend to delimit new indigenous lands and that he intends to legalize artisanal mining in the reserves because, in his opinion, the Indians have to be considered Brazilian citizens like all others, with the right to aspire to progress, and cannot be held back in their villages.

For Bolsonaro, demarcations of indigenous reserves make the growth of agribusiness in Brazil unfeasible.

For the director of Survival International, Stephen Corry, the current invasions and attacks on reserves in Brazil are the result of Bolsonaro's anti-indigenous rhetoric, a captain of the Army reserve that has the backing of the large landowners.

"These attacks are encouraged by Bolsonaro's rhetoric and actions against indigenous communities and the environment at a level we had not seen 50 years ago," says Corry.

. (tagsToTranslate) Procuraduria (t) revoke (t) indigenous (t) reserve (t) Brazil



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