Brazil’s indigenous land is being invaded
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Brazil’s indigenous land is being invaded

November 26, 2019

The Karitiana are an indigenous group in Brazil. They live on protected land, deep in the Amazon rainforest. When it was established in 1986, it was surrounded by rainforest. But today, it’s almost completely surrounded by farms. This kind of encroachment is happening across the Amazon. Brazil has over 400 protected indigenous lands. But its booming agricultural industry has spent the last few decades clearing the rainforest around them. Now they want in. And they have the perfect ally to help them. Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro wants the expansion of farms to continue. Even at the expense of protected lands. And that’s put 900,000 indigenous people at the risk of losing their homes, and their way of life. At the start of the 20th century, Brazil was intent on becoming a modern country. Cities along the coast were already being
developed. But the Amazon, which covers almost half the
country, was remote, inaccessible, and home to tens of thousands of indigenous people
who had lived there for centuries. Around the 1920s, Brazil’s government pushed an aggressive plan to change the shape of the Amazon. They brought telegraph lines, roads, schools, and people into the Amazon, while forcibly these indigenous groups out of the way. “Troops had to be called out in Brasilia to quell the bitter protests of thousands, through a brief and bloodless military coup.” Then, in the 1960s, a brutal military dictatorship
took over Brazil and carried out genocide against indigenous people. They took away their lands to build highways,
mines and dams across the Amazon. During this time, more than 8,300 indigenous
people were killed, and tens of thousands had lost their homes. In 1985, the military regime collapsed and
Brazil became a democracy. The new constitution included historic reparations
for the country’s indigenous people. It recognized their culture and traditions. And even gave them a way to get their lands
back. Indigenous groups could claim their traditional
territory with a government agency, called FUNAI, that would demarcate the borders of a new protected land. After final approval from Brazil’s president,
FUNAI would then monitor and protect it. Soon, protected indigenous lands were being
set up all over the Amazon. And today they make up around 13% of the country. Which includes the Karitiana’s land. But it wasn’t long before these lands would
be threatened again. From the 1990s to the 2000s, Brazil’s economy was one of the fastest growing in the world
– fueled, primarily, by agriculture. The country became one of the top producers of beef and soybeans, while logging and mining were also significant industries. But the economic boom had a downside. All of these industries needed more and more
land, a lot of which came from the Amazon. The rainforest was rapidly cut down in Para,
Rondonia, and Mato Grosso states, to make room for cattle pastures and farms, often leaving the protected indigenous lands
as the only forest left. Before long, Brazil’s agricultural industry
wanted to gain access to these areas too. And they found support within the government. They lobbied to weaken the rules around protected
indigenous lands that they claimed were barriers to progress. And their pressure started to show results… From 2003 to 2010, President Lula da Silva
approved 87 indigenous reserves. But his successor, Dilma Rousseff, approved just 21. Followed by Michel Temer, who approved only one. Rousseff and Temer also cut FUNAI’s
funding, which forced the agency to close dozens of offices in the Amazon, leaving
indigenous people unprotected. As FUNAI’s power declined, illegal invasions of protected indigenous lands increased. By 2017, Brazil’s indigenous were under attack. Loggers, ranchers, and farmers felt emboldened under a government heavily influenced by the agricultural industry. And soon, the man leading Brazil’s presidential
race would further tip the scales in their favor. As a former member of the Army during the
military regime, he shared many of their oppressive political views, especially those
towards indigenous groups: These words earned him the endorsement of the agricultural industry, but deeply worried indigenous groups. As soon as Bolsonaro took office, he turned
his attention to the indigenous. He slashed FUNAI’s budget, and hasn’t approved
any new lands. In fact, he’s proposed taking away FUNAI’s
power to demarcate new lands entirely. And he appointed a former
police officer, with strong ties to the agriculture industry, to lead FUNAI. Under Bolsonaro, invasions of indigenous lands have skyrocketed in just the first 9 months of 2019. Just ten days after Bolsonaro took office in January 2019, 40 armed men invaded this land. By May, 20,000 illegal miners had invaded the Yanomami reserve. And in July, invaders cleared a huge section of forest in the Xikrin land. The Karitiana are worried that they could be next. Illegal agricultural activities have been happening here, right next to the Karitiana land. And they’ve brought actual threats of violence to the people living there. In the past, the indigenous groups had FUNAI, a protective agency they could turn to for help. But now they’re left to rely on themselves. Hi, thanks for watching the third and final episode of Vox Atlas: the Amazon mini-series. My name is Ana Terra Athayde and I’m a video journalist based in Brazil. I went to the Amazon to report on the ground and to meet with the people who provided us with invaluable information. I want to thank them all for their time and for sharing their concerns with us. Make sure to watch the series’ previous videos. The first one explains what drives deforestation in the rainforest. And in the second video, we take a look at the rubber industry in the Amazon, and the work and legacy of Chico Mendes. Thanks again for watching.

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  1. As a Brazilian I'm very thankful to Vox for shedding light upon these major issues that the international press had largely been ignoring. It's very important for the world to see what Bolsonaro and the far-right are doing to the minorities here. They are racists who see indigineous people as subhumans.

  2. As a Brazilian, the fact that you are talking about this is awesome, i am fulfilled with joy! Thank you for highlighting such important matter

  3. I don't get it. Why should only Brazilians decide what will happen with the world rain forest? This is illegal and it have to stop! This is planet Earth and there are no borders if you look it from the sky

  4. ….another example of forced removal of lands from indigenous people…..never learn from the past just a continuation of it…..only 13% of the land…just leave it alone and let people live….

  5. How WW3 starts

    Its not about this only situation but its about how Brazil manages the Amazon and how it affects the world globally

    A war could break up about how the whole world tries to make efforts into preserving the climate of the world

  6. I really appreciate this series. I was a bit disconnected with the issues of Amazon and this has brought much needed insight into the issues. Thank you very much! Keep up the good work 🙂

  7. Trust me it's worse than it sounds. He's sacrificing resources and the low-class population in order to keep the country afloat while giving even more advantages to the super rich. An economic crisis in on the verge of happening. I'm lucky enough to have a good and steady job, but I see a lot of people struggling to stay alive and pay the exhorbitant taxes on everything.

  8. There was a coup in Bolivia against an indigenous president, which can be safely assumed was sponsored by the US – given that it's was preceded by a dubious OAS report, and there were leaked audios implying high ranking senators were also involved – but there will be no US-backed anything against Bolsonaro. As a brazilian, my only hope is for Bernie Sanders to be elected in America since no other candidate takes a strong anti-imperialist position. Even Elizabeth Warren, my second favorite, refuses to refer to what is happening in Bolivia as a coup.

  9. "We never thought a politician could say such things." Neither did we, sweetheart. Neither did we. 😕😕😕😢😢😢

  10. We should do the same to Bolsonaro, tell him it's completely
    unreasonable, and just take over his land/house and see
    how he likes it. People with power can be so cruel, straight

  11. Its being enriched with diversity. Those indigenous people must think that everything belongs to them. FAST! Send Antifa and throw some Molotov-cocktails in their forest.

  12. Is there anyway for these 'indigenous' individuals to purchase the land, or basically own it outside of this seemingly flimsy 'protected' status?

  13. Why vox emphasize the bad side without recognizing the fact that Brazil has THE BEST conservation policy in the world??? Actually I'm very used with foreigners making this same discourse, to me this sincerely looks like I kind of foreign intervention, like a soft weapon.

  14. Basically Brazil is doing the Christopher Columbus. These poor people should be given guns to protect their lands. I like how not one country is willing to help them out, just shows how evil humanity is! I hope everyone in Brazil stands up for them and stops this nonsense

  15. Land and other rights should never be granted by others, but fought and protected by oneself. Imagine if these indigenous people have AR15, will the farmers continue to occupy their land? Imagine if native Americans have better technology than European, will Brazil as a nation exists?
    “Backwardness leaves you vulnerable to attack”

  16. I haven't been glad with those several years of PT (workers party) in the presidence of Brazil, but Bolsonaro was far to be a solution. We don't had just PT or Bolsonaro but people could only see those famous opposite characters to be the next president. Sad.

  17. If they focus their attention to the service industry and developed education system, they can move away from increasing agriculture and work with what has already existed to boom their economy. Service industry can triple the income and also stop taking more land from the amazon rainforest.

  18. People STILL support the president (right), no matter what. Their excuse? "Better than Lula" (left)
    Untill Brazil is totally wasted, untill then.. they won't care. Some also defend dictatorship ("good" old days).

  19. It’s times like this that make me wish Captain Planet and the Planeteers really existed.
    🌐 🌍 🌎 🌏 ♻️ ☮️

  20. The problem is people keep voting for these politicians. The Farmer’s party (I’m not sure what the exact name was) that aligns similarily to the current Brazilian president gain more and more congressional seats each election cycle (as outlined in the previous box video). Bosensro didn’t magically become president; he won an election where most people voted for him. Why do more and more people vote for these politicians?

  21. In North America we have Swales and in South America and the rest of the world, we have rainforests. These are natural lands where millions of unique lifeforms exist from bacteria and fungi to rare large mammals and reptiles. How can people not see how important these things are? If you destroy their habitat. If you expand, you will push them out and effectively wipe them off the planet. THIS IS NOT GOOD, we need this biodiversity!

  22. Interesting, guess who also carried out massive genocide against indigenous people and still remembered and glorified as heroes and founding fathers of the Anglo-Saxon civilizations. Didn't see much reparation efforts even centuries after though.

  23. What some ingenious Indians are not telling you and what VOX is nor reporting or has not found out is there are native tribesmen that are selling "their" land to the Chinese for DIRT CHEAP and using the money to buy alcohol and forcing the women to work the rest and provide for the family

  24. Not so fun fact:
    All these Indigenous people issues were started by Canada. Canada was the first country to start residential schools and indigenous people issues.
    And yes this is true I’m not one of those people who find these of of wikis and things. I was tought these things by teachers and Indigenous people at my school.

  25. Indigenous people want doctors, medicines, better lives. They claim by another way to survive and Bolsonaro is supporting them. The message of this video is not true.

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