Brazil govt backs natives on land demarcation

Oct 05, 2013
Brazilian natives demonstrate in front of the National Congress in Brasilia on October 3, 2013

Brazilian authorities on Friday sided with protesting natives and slammed as unconstitutional an amendment that would give lawmakers authority to approve and demarcate indigenous lands.

Hundreds of indigenous militants have flocked to Brasilia over the past few days to protest the amendment, which critics say has been designed to benefit a powerful pro-agribusiness bloc in Congress.

The main target of ire is PEC 215, a constitutional reform that would transfer from the executive branch to Congress the authority to approve and demarcate native lands and environmental conservation parks.

The Justice Ministry forwarded a legal finding to the House of Deputies, railing against the amendment.

"We believe this measure is not only ill-timed and inappropriate but also unconstitutional," said Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo.

Indigenous activists, however, still insist that President Dilma Rousseff's government is flouting their rights.

Roughly 12 percent of Brazil's territory is currently recognized as indigenous territories. Native Indians grouped in 305 tribes represent less than 0.5 percent of the more than 200 million Brazilians.

Explore further: NOAA establishes 'tipping points' for sea level rise related flooding

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Brazil's natives protest dam construction

Jun 11, 2013

Indigenous activists occupied the headquarters of a government agency Tuesday to demand a voice in the construction of a controversial dam in the Amazon.

Recommended for you

New challenges for ocean acidification research

8 hours ago

Over the past decade, ocean acidification has received growing recognition not only in the scientific area. Decision-makers, stakeholders, and the general public are becoming increasingly aware of "the other carbon dioxide ...

Compromises lead to climate change deal

8 hours ago

Earlier this month, delegates from the various states that make up the UN met in Lima, Peru, to agree on a framework for the Climate Change Conference that is scheduled to take place in Paris next year. For ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.