Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed this Wednesday (02/05/2020) a bill that allows mining and the generation of electricity in indigenous reserves, a promise since he took office a year ago and which is rejected by Indians and environmentalists.
“I hope that dream (…) comes true. The indigenous person is a human being exactly like us, he has a heart, he has a feeling, he has a soul, he has desire, he has needs and he is as Brazilian as we are, ”Bolsonaro said during an official ceremony in which he signed the project.
The bill, which must be sent to a vote in Congress this week, where it will have to be approved by the plenary sessions of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies before it can be sanctioned, was signed in a public act in which Bolsonaro commemorated the first 400 days of his government.
The Presidency explained that mining and the construction of hydroelectric plants in the reserves are provided for in Article 231 of the 1988 Constitution, which has not been regulated so far.
The text, which has not yet been published, will regulate that constitutional article on the use of hydraulic resources and the search and extraction of mineral wealth in indigenous lands.
“The big step depends on Parliament. We are going to suffer pressure from environmentalists. Those people linked to the environment, if one day I could, I would confine them in the Amazon, since they like the environment so much, ”said Bolsonaro, a climate change skeptic who sees environmental claims as conspiracies of foreign interests to take over the riches of the soil of Brazil.
Bolsonaro has allies to achieve a majority in Congress, although many of his projects were stopped there. In this case, the support of the powerful bank linked to agribusiness will be decisive, which lately has shown concern about international complaints against the deforestation of the Amazon.
Some 600 Brazilian indigenous leaders met in January in the Amazonian state of Mato Grosso denounced that the government is promoting a political project of "genocide, ethnocide and ecocide."