Bolsonaro's bill, which would, among other things, open up protected land for commercial mining, is called a "death combination" by indigenous activists in the country. Photo: Palácio do Planalto. Source: Flickr.

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Thousands of Brazilian indigenous peoples protest against Bolsonaro's "death combination"

Thousands of indigenous peoples have gathered in Brasilia to protest against several bills, including the so-called 'death combination' - which would open up indigenous peoples' land for commercial mining. At the same time, the president means Jair Bolsonaro that increased mining in the territories of indigenous peoples is necessary for the country's prosperity and development since Russia stopped its exports of fertilizers.

In early April, thousands of people - probably as many as six thousand people - marched from the indigenous peoples of Brazil on the streets of the capital Brazil. The reason was President Jair Bolsonaro's proposed legislation which would open up indigenous peoples' protected land for commercial mining, agriculture and oil exploration. The protests were also part of an annual ten-day demonstration called 'Free Land Camp' - which is held to demand protection of indigenous peoples' land and rights.

Bolsonaro's proposed legislation, namely five environmental bills now being considered by the Brazilian Congress, is called by activists a "death combination". If the proposals are approved would de give the green light for commercial mining in the territories of indigenous peoples and endanger the land rights of tens of thousands of people. In addition, they would relax environmental licensing requirements and strengthen land grabbers and illegal loggers in the Amazon, according to Amazon Watch. Deforestation has already shot into hayjden under Bolsonaro's presidency and representatives of, among others The Yanomami people warn for the wave of illegal gold miners threatening their land, destroying forests and polluting rivers. The "death combination" may make the now illegal occupations legal.

Activists and environmental organizations believe that Bolsonaro's bill risks accelerating the deforestation of the Amazon. Source: Canva.

In light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the fact that Russia no longer exports fertilizers to Brazil, President Bolsonaro has also used the said crisis to try to speed up the adoption of legislation. For the good of the country, says Bolsonaro, we must now open up the land of indigenous peoples for the extraction of potassium chloride, which is a common component in fertilizers. Others mean that this is a false narrative that Bolsonaro uses to pursue his own agenda because experts believe that only eleven percent of the potassium chloride reserves are in reserves of origin. The President has previously said that the indigenous people have too much land, which stops the development of the country, and he has promised not to recognize an inch more of reservation land. Environmental rights activists, for their part, believe that the reserve saves the rainforest fromån destruction. 

Thousands of people have protested against President Bolsonaro's treatment of indigenous peoples and nature. Photo: Maria Fernanda Pissioli. Source: Unsplash.

The future of the Amazon remains uncertain  

The incumbent president recommended a vote as early as early March. Since it is election year in the country this year has group leaders in the lower house of Congress not yet gone with pto speed up the voting of oro fto annoy voters. The bills are undeniably a hot political issue in Brazil right now. Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who is once again running for president, has promised before the autumn elections to completely stop illegal mining in the Amazon and recognize the indigenous peoples' land language. Lula Da Silva herself took part in the 'Free Land Camp' and stated there that everything that this government decides against the rights of indigenous peoples must be abolished immediately, according to Al Jazeera.  

In 2021, too, people took to the streets of Brazil to protest against President Bolsonaro's policies. Photo: User: Tet. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The bills are thus still under construction and the future of the indigenous peoples' territories is unclear. While the so-called "death combination" is under consideration, indigenous communities, activists and environmental organizations continue to fight against what they believe would be devastating for the Amazon and the people who live there.  

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