The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation stands in solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil in their battle against the Brazilian Congress’ push to limit the demarcation of indigenous lands and protection of Indigenous Peoples.
Protests have erupted in Sao Paulo, Brazil amidst the congress’ approving PL 490, a bill seeking to limit the recognition of ancestral lands. If passed into law, this would curtail the right of Indigenous Peoples to take control of their lands, including environmental protection and demarcation of Indigenous lands. With a vote of 283 versus 155, in favor of passing the bill, Indigenous Peoples responded with strong opposition and took the streets to express their dismay.
President Lula has promised the recognition of Indigenous lands, but is now faced with a largely conservative and right-wing Congress, many of them lobbyists of big agribusiness industries, and pushing for an anti-environment agenda, climate change denialism.
IPMSDL stands that what the Brazilian congress is doing is a step backwards for the recognition of Indigenous rights, as well as for resolving the environmental crisis we are facing. If the government passes PL 490 into law, it would lead to the unprecedented exploitation and destruction of ancestral lands– all towards favoring the interests of large agribusiness, mining and logging industries, contractors, and corrupt bureaucrats.
At the moment, mining in Indigenous territories is illegal in Brazil, with the passing of PL 490, the possibilities are slowly being opened up for big businesses to profit off ancestral lands. Just last year, US-company Oxycer has expressed interest in mining for gold in Piripkura territory, as of last year the company has already filed five applications to prospect for gold in the area. Also last year, Oxycer made 14 requests to mine on Mura Indigenous land. Tensions have also risen in Mura territory, as another mining company, Potassio de Brasil– a Canadian owned company, seeks to build a potash mine in their land. It goes without saying that Brazilian lawmakers are in fact lackeys of Western-owned businesses that want nothing more but to eat up resources of the world even if it means sacrificing the lives of Indigenous peoples.
The situation in Brazil just goes to show that despite a progressive President and Indigenous leaders at the government, the relevance of a militant mass movement is necessary towards pushing for our right to self-determination, especially in the face of continuing oppression and when the forces of greed still roam free.
The International IPMSDL is with the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil in every step of the way in their fight to oppose this evil, racist, and outright destructive bill. We believe that such a bill has no place in any society, and should not have been considered to be drafted in the first place. This puts Indigenous lives, culture, and the welfare of the environment in peril.#
Global Coordinator, IPMSDL