President Bolsonaro Promises Yanomami There will be No Mining

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has promised the small indigenous people of the Yanomami that there will be no mining in their tribal area.


He did so after listening to local leaders in the village of Maturac√°. The Yanomami in Brazil number about 20,000 people, and they have their own reserve that is larger than Portugal.

The leaders asked the president to protect their area from mining. The president replied that their wishes would be respected, and there will be no mining if they do not want it. Footage of the encounter was circulated on social media late Sunday. The meeting was not far from the Venezuelan border on Thursday, about 2,700 kilometres northwest of the capital Brasilia.

But Bolsonaro said other indigenous groups do want to reclaim their land and are interested in mining, for example. He will also respect their wishes. The president visited two Indian reservations in the north of the country. It was the first time he had visited it since he became president on January 1, 2019.

He strives for no more areas to be allocated exclusively to small indigenous minorities. He wants the natural resources in the Amazon to benefit the entire population through the reclamation and exploitation of land and minerals. In his view, the small indigenous minorities should integrate instead of living in reservations.

Brazil has 210 million inhabitants, including less than a million ‘indigenous’ people. It is estimated that more than 10 percent of the country’s 8.5 million square kilometres are now classified as ‘indigenous’. About 98 percent of this land is in the Amazon region.

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