Even before Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s Presidential race last week, many environmentalists were on high alert. The far-right politician’s positions on agriculture and economic development (he’s gone back and forth on whether he’ll keep environment ministries and agriculture ministries separate) could open up Brazil’s precious rainforests to deforestation and economic exploitation.
But it’s not just the Amazon that’s threatened — the lives of many of Brazil’s indigenous peoples are under siege as well. A little over a week ago, the President-elect signaled he might backtrack on his campaign promise to leave the Paris climate accord, but only if he gets assurances that Brazil would not have to cede sovereignty to native tribes.
“Indigenous peoples suffer disproportionately from violence,” Christian Poirier, program director at Amazon Watch, told Grist. “Under Bolsonaro, we can expect to see a growth in this very alarming trend.”
In the first few days after Bolsonaro’s election, there were reports of a wave of violence against indigenous communities, with pro-Bolsonaro militias allegedly destroying villages and gravely harming individuals. [Continue reading…]