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

NASA image: Signs of deforestation in Brazil

10 hours ago

Multiple fires are visible in in this image of the Para and Mato Grosso states of Brazil. Many of these were most likely intentionally set in order to deforest the land. Deforestation is the removal of a ...

Sunblock poses potential hazard to sea life

10 hours ago

The sweet and salty aroma of sunscreen and seawater signals a relaxing trip to the shore. But scientists are now reporting that the idyllic beach vacation comes with an environmental hitch. When certain sunblock ...

Is falling recycling rate due to 'green fatigue'?

11 hours ago

It's been suggested that a recent fall in recycling rates is due to green fatigue, caused by the confusing number of recycling bins presented to householders for different materials. Recycling rates woul ...

Study to inform Maryland decision on "fracking"

13 hours ago

The Maryland Department of Environment and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released on August 18, 2014, a report by the University of Maryland School of Public Health, which assesses the potential ...

User comments : 0