Protests in Brazil

Brutal crackdowns on indigenous protesters (Press Release)

Yesterday, the Brazilian regime answered protests against a controversial draft law with tear gas and rubber bullets. The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) condemned the security authorities' excessive use of force. "The people had gathered for peaceful protests against a draft law that would cut down on their rights significantly. The excessive use of force by the police cannot be justified. It shows what the Brazilian government is willing to do to enforce its anti-indigenous policy," stated Juliana Miyazaki, STP expert on indigenous peoples, in Göttingen on Wednesday. Several members of indigenous communities were injured, at least three of them severely. There are children among the injured.

Reports and images on social media give evidence of the shocking violence against peaceful protesters. More than 850 indigenous peoples (from 48 different communities) have been camping in front of the government building in Brasilia since the beginning of June – as a form of protest against the policy of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro. Draft law 490/2007 is seen as especially problematic. "This draft law is supposed to facilitate mining projects in indigenous territories, the clearing of rainforest areas for cattle farming, as well as road construction projects. At the same time, it would become just about impossible for indigenous communities to have their territories officially recognized," Miyazaki added. There are protests in other parts of the country too. After several postponements, the draft law was back on the agenda yesterday – but the vote was postponed once again. However, as the issue is crucially important for the representatives of the agricultural lobby in the Brazilian Congress, the bancada ruralista, it will soon be on the agenda again.