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Brazil to remove illegal prospectors from more indigenous lands in its Amazon region

Brazil to remove illegal prospectors from more indigenous lands in its Amazon region
Lula's administration clamping down on illegal activities in Amazon rainforest

By Bala Chambers

BUENOS AIRES (AA) - Authorities in Brazil announced plans Monday to remove more illegal prospectors from indigenous lands in the country's Amazon rainforest this year.

Justice Minister Flavio Dino said at a press conference in the capital Brasilia that authorities are planning removal operations in six more indigenous territories.

The announcement follows a clampdown this year on illegal prospectors on lands belonging to the indigenous Yanomami people in Roraima state.

Following the removal of prospectors from Yanomami territory, Dino told reporters that "our vision is that in the month of April, this removal will be completed. On April 6, there will be resumption of control of the airspace."

He also described a "very small presence" of prospectors in Yanomami territory and alleged that sometimes the "indigenous people defend the presence of prospectors (and) react to the presence of the security forces."

Dino also said that security forces operating in the area have destroyed 70 boats and 140 aircraft.​​​​​​​

He added that 28 search and seizure warrants were handed out while 68 million reais ($12.9 million) worth of finances have been blocked.

Dino said that some security forces will remain in Yanomami territory in the coming months to safeguard the area.

Since January, authorities have been clamping down on prospectors in the territory.

Prior to visiting Roraima where the Yanomami people live, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva saw stark photos of the humanitarian crisis impacting the indigenous community.

After visiting the area, Lula called the humanitarian crisis in their territory a "genocide," alleging that it was a "premeditated crime against the Yanomami committed by a government insensitive to the suffering of Brazilian people."

In January, Dino also ordered authorities to investigative the case, insisting there were "strong indications" that the Yanomami people may have experienced genocide.

Many environmentalists and defenders of Indigenous peoples and their territorial rights criticized former President Jair Bolsonaro's policies, insisting that he rolled back environmental protections, causing ecological destruction and impacting local communities.

In November 2022, before assuming the presidency, Lula vowed at the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 to protect the Amazon rainforest and strengthen inspection bodies and monitoring systems in the Amazon.

source: News Feed
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