In Brazil, Indigenous groups took to the streets across the country Tuesday protesting a proposed law that would limit their ability to obtain protected status for their ancestral lands by excluding Indigenous communities that were expelled before October 1988, when Brazil’s current constitution was adopted. Brazil’s lower house approved the legislation after growing pressure from powerful agricultural groups. In São Paulo, police fired tear gas at demonstrators.
Kerexu Rete Guarani: “We are in a national protest with the original peoples of this territory. Today, in the name of Brazil, we are fighting for life. Here are my people, the Guaraní people, fighting, saying no to the law of death, saying no to the law of destruction, saying no to the timeframe.”
In April, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva recognized six ancestral lands, with the largest two in the Amazon, fulfilling a campaign promise to protect the rainforest from commercial exploitation.