Indigenous Communities Rally in Brazil’s Capital Over President’s Land Policies

Thousands of Indigenous individuals have convened in the heart of Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, to voice their discontent against President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s perceived failure to honor his commitments regarding the creation of reserves and the removal of illegal miners and land encroachers from Indigenous territories.

The 20th Free Land Camp, an annual weeklong gathering of Indigenous communities, has taken on a tone of holding Lula’s administration accountable for its actions.

Despite the recent establishment of two new reserves, falling short of the promised six, Indigenous groups remain unsatisfied.

An indigenous woman takes part in a protest along with people from various ethnic groups in a protest against the proposal of the federal government to legalize mining in indigenous lands, in front of Planalto Palace in Brasilia on April 19, 2021. (Credit: Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images)

Lula attributed the delay in naming additional reserves to the requests of state governors and the necessity of finding alternative areas for approximately 800 non-Indigenous individuals who would be displaced upon the demarcation of new territories.

An open letter from the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, directed at the government’s legislative, judicial, and executive branches, vehemently emphasizes the non-negotiable nature of Indigenous rights and denounces any attempt to undermine them.

According to the Socio-Environmental Institute, there are currently 251 territories awaiting recognition by the federal government.

Indigenous people dance during the 20th annual Free Land Indigenous Camp in Brasília, Brazil, Monday, April 22, 2024. The 7-day event aims to show the unity of Brazil’s Indigenous peoples in their fight for the demarcation of their lands and their rights. (Credit: AP Photo/Luis Nova)

Alessandra Korap, a prominent Indigenous leader of the Munduruku tribe, expressed deep disappointment with the government’s actions, particularly its limited progress in demarcating lands.

Despite Lula’s electoral promise to prioritize Indigenous land rights, opposition from the influential agribusiness sector, backed by numerous congressional seats and several state governors, presents a significant obstacle.

Approximately 8,000 protesters have converged in Brasilia, enduring lengthy bus journeys to participate in the camp’s activities, which include traditional ceremonies, the sale of handicrafts, debates, and political demonstrations.

The Indigenous community’s collective voice resonates in their call for justice and the protection of their ancestral lands.

Keval Dave
Keval Dave
Keval Dave, a university student majoring in Mass Communication, possesses a profound interest in politics and strategic affairs. His analytical prowess and dedication to understanding global dynamics drive his pursuit of knowledge.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x