The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, argued today the need to expand the indigenous territories of the country to preserve the Amazon rainforest and thus avoid invasions by mafias dedicated to the illegal exploitation of wood, illegal mining and the agricultural activity.
He did it by participating in the 52nd. Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of Roraima, in the extreme north of the country, in the Terra do Sol Indigenous Land, where he defended his policy of increasing the presence of the State in issues such as health, education and economic assistance to indigenous communities.
“I have asked my ministers to show me all the lands that are ready to be defined because we need to do the demarcation quickly, before they seize them, before someone invents false documents, false deeds and says they own the land. land,” Lula said in his speech.
The president visited Raposa Terra do Sol, on the border with Venezuela, an indigenous territory demarcated in his first administration, which expelled the illegal rice farmers who had appropriated the land.
Roraima also includes the Yanomami reserve, visited by Lula in January, where he denounced former president Jair Bolsonaro for “genocide” due to policies to reduce inspections and allow the entry of 14,000 garimpeiros, members of illegal mining organizations in the rivers. Amazonian, an activity that causes malnutrition and deaths from hunger among native peoples as a result of the contamination of the waters with mercury.
Lula maintained that the native peoples have the right to develop within their ancestral lands.
“When they say that the indigenous are occupying 14% of the national territory, they should remember that they have had 100% of the national territory; it is the others that occupy 86%,” Lula said.
It is the first time that a president participates in the indigenous assembly that represents nine ethnic groups, including the Yanomami, Macuxi and Wapichana.
Lula was accompanied by his Minister of Original Peoples, Sonia Guajajara.
Lula warned that illegal mining is completely prohibited and that it will be combated by his government.
“If there is gold in Roraima, on indigenous land, that gold belongs to no one, it is there because nature put it and no one has the right to remove it without the authorization of the indigenous people, from Brazil,” the president said.
Lula also proposed to the indigenous people to include agricultural production within the National Food Program administered by the government to buy from small producers.
The president marked a counterpoint with Bolsonaro, who in 2018 promised to eliminate all projects to create new indigenous reserves to allow mining exploitation in the Amazon biome.