The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) condemns the violent attack by the police and Bolsonaro Government on Indigenous Peoples (IP) groups peacefully protesting anti-IP bills that undermine their rights to ancestral land. The incident occurred last June 22 outside Brazil’s congress.
During the protest march towards Esplanada dos Ministérios at the Brazilian National Assembly, several police forces, assembled with a military tank, used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the demonstrators. Two IP protestors were severely injured and were rushed to the hospital. Around ten children, elderlies, and women sustained light injuries due to disproportionate use of force by the police.
The protest is part of the Rise for the Earth Camp gathering around 850 Indigenous Peoples from 48 different peoples from Brazilian regions. The camp that started three weeks ago denounced the Bill 490 (PL 490) — a bill backed by the Bolsonaro bloc of ruralist and farm caucus in Congress which aims to curtail indigenous rights to lands unoccupied as of 1988.
The Bill 490, a constitutional provision proposal, will terminate the policy of indigenous land demarcation, avoid new territorial demarcations, and allow the nullification of indigenous lands. The bill opens up protected indigenous territories and reservations to agribusiness, commercial farming, ranch, mining, road infrastructures, hydroelectric projects, and Brazilian military bases. With the increasing murder and violence linked to projects encroaching indigenous lands, the bill serves as a catalyst for the genocide of Indigenous Peoples.
The said bill is on the voting agenda of the Chamber’s Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ) which Indigenous groups are calling to be removed. But on June 23, Bolsonaro allies maneuvered for the inclusion of Bill 490 in the agenda of bills to be voted on a date yet to be determined. Amid the ongoing protest camp and requests of opposition for public hearings and dialogue with Indigenous movements, Bolsonaro’s allies in the parliament acted for the plenary to approve the bill.
Other than Bill 490, several anti-indigenous bills and legislative package being pushed by the Bolsonaro bloc include the Bill 2633/2020 (known as PL da Grilagem/ Land grabber’s Bill); Bill 984/2019, that will build roads on the Iguaçu National Park; the Bill 191/2020, authorizing exploration on indigenous lands for major infrastructure and mining projects, and many others.
The Bolsonaro government has long endangered the Brazilian Amazon, especially Indigenous Peoples and their lands and resources with genocidal state policies and programs. The recent fascist attack of state forces on the Indigenous movement adds to his crimes against Indigenous communities and prompts calls for accountability and justice.
We call on our members, networks, and the international community to stand and condemn this violence and discrimination. Let us stand against the legislative moves of the Bolsonaro government which are perilous to the lands and life of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples. Our unity with them and with all Indigenous movements fighting for their land and rights is the foundation to our strength.
Hold the Bolsonaro government accountable!
Oppose the PL 490 and all anti-indigenous bills!
Stand with the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil!
Struggle for self-determination and Liberation!