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Bolsonaro: Ancestors’ right to indigenous lands will end agribusiness

Bolsonaro: Ancestors’ right to indigenous lands will end agribusiness

This content was published on Aug 26, 2021 – 4:33 PM

Brasilia, August 26 (EFE). – Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, confirmed this Thursday that the positive decision of the Supreme Court on the “ancestral” right to land defended by indigenous peoples will end “agribusiness in the country, which is one of the largest producers and exporters of food in the world.”

Bolsonaro told his supporters as he left the Palacio da Alvorada: the presidential residence in Brasilia.

“People say the land belongs to them (the indigenous people), but they already own 14% of the land and we will demarcate the equivalent of that,” stressed the head of state and leader of the Brazilian far-right.

For Bolsonaro, it is a policy that “comes from abroad” in order to “make agribusiness unviable”

“Many European countries criticize us for our environmental policy. Unfortunately we have fires and deforestation, but we have more than 60% that have been preserved and they don’t even have 10%. Foreigners want to buy that land,” he said.

Thousands of indigenous people have been stationed since last weekend in front of Brazil’s Supreme Court awaiting the trial, set to begin on Thursday, which must decide on this alleged right.

The president added that “Indians want production and do not want more services from the state, but many of them are ‘young poor’ people who don’t know who they are protesting against and why.”

What is under consideration is a thesis known as the “time-frame”, according to which indigenous peoples can only claim lands they have already occupied as of October 5, 1988, when the current Brazilian constitution was promulgated.

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However, indigenous movements assert that this thesis ends with “ancestral rights” and also favor the legalization of areas illegally occupied by landowners prior to that date.

The case reached the Supreme Court through a lawsuit brought by the National Corporation of the State of India (Funai) against a decision of a secondary court that recognized the secular landowner of the Xokleng, Guaraní and Kaingang ethnic groups before a public body from the southern state of Santa Catarina. EFE

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