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: Brazil's natives, blacks demand respect of land rights

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

Dutch unveil big plan to fight rising tides

3 hours ago

The Netherlands on Tuesday unveiled a multi-billion-euro, multi-decade plan to counter the biggest environmental threat to the low-lying European nation: surging seawater caused by global climate change.

Drought hits Brazil coffee harvest

5 hours ago

Coffee output in Brazil, the world's chief exporter, will slide this year after the worst drought in decades, agricultural agency Conab said Tuesday.

Landmark fracking study finds no water pollution

7 hours ago

The final report from a landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has found no evidence that chemicals or brine water from the gas drilling process moved upward to contaminate drinking water at one site ...

Politics divide coastal residents' views of environment

8 hours ago

From the salmon-rich waters of Southeast Alaska to the white sand beaches of Florida's Gulf Coast to Downeast Maine's lobster, lumber and tourist towns, coastal residents around the U.S. share a common characteristic: ...

User comments : 0