Indigenous people protest land restrictions in Brazil
With feather headdresses and body paint, thousands of indigenous demonstrators camped out in Brasilia to protest President Jair Bolsonaro's policies and an initiative that could take away their ancestral lands.
Fight for Life
Women from the Krenak tribe are part of the "Fight for Life" protest camp, which opened Sunday and will hold a week of demos and other activities against what the organizers, the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), call Bolsonaro's "anti-indigenous agenda," seeking to exert pressure ahead of a crucial Supreme Court ruling on native lands.
Protecting their lands
Protesters hold a banner that reads "Genocidaires, your fate is the Hague court" during a protest outside the Supreme Court building. Indigenous groups in Brazil accuse Bolsonaro of systematically attacking their rights and trying to open their lands to agribusiness and mining.
Different tribes, one aim
The latest camp opened peacefully. Organizers said there were 4,000 indigenous protesters from 117 ethnic groups. The protests have peaked with a Supreme Court case opening Wednesday on the issue of how indigenous lands are protected.
Staying hopeful despite setbacks
Women of the Huni Kuin tribe attend a ceremony at the protest camp. Brazil is home to around 900,000 indigenous people. They make up less than 0.5% of the population of 212 million, but their reservations cover some 13% of the country.
Bill could weaken land claims
The agribusiness lobby says Brazil's constitutional protection of indigenous lands should only apply to those whose inhabitants were present in 1988, when the current constitution was adopted. However, indigenous rights activists say native inhabitants were often forced off their ancestral lands, including under the 1964-1985 military dictatorship, which wanted to develop the Amazon rainforest.
Case of the century
Having now returned, the indigenous people should have the right to benefit from the protected status of official reservations, their lawyers argue. The case centers on a reservation in the southern state of Santa Catarina, but will set legal precedent for dozens of similar cases throughout Brazil. Protest organizers have called it "the most important court case of the century."
Destruction of the Amazon
Environmentalists say protecting the indigenous reservations is one of the best ways to stop the destruction of the Amazon, a critical resource in the race to curb climate change. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has surged since Bolsonaro took office in 2019.