Brazil Wants Its Share of Indian Riches

The Brazilian government wants mining to cease on Indian lands. For this purpose, it set up an operational group which has 15 days to submit proposals to monitor and ensure the adoption of adequate and suitable measures to prevent all forms of mining on Indian lands.


By Luciana Vasconcelos

The group should especially examine mining within the territories of the Roosevelt, Serra Morena, and Apiruanã reservations and the Aripuanã Indian Park, all located in the states of Rondônia and Mato Grosso.


The group is made up of three representatives of the Ministry of Justice – one from the Federal Police, one from the Federal Highway Police, and one from the National Indian Foundation (Funai) -, and one each from the Presidential Office of Institutional Security, the Ministry of Defense, and the National Department of Mineral Production, linked to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.


A conflict between Cinta-Larga Indians, from the Roosevelt reservation, and prospectors early in April caused 29 deaths in the region, in Rondônia.


The reservation, which is 580 kilometers from the state capital, Porto Velho, contains one of the world’s largest diamond reserves. Luiz Paulo Barreto, Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, informed that mining on reservations is prohibited.


According to the Secretary, the reservation is protected today by 20 Federal Police officers, 20 Federal Highway Police officers, and 10 military police officers from Rondônia.


Barreto affirmed that, if necessary, the detail could be reinforced, and the Armed Forces could also be called upon to guarantee security in the locale.


The Roosevelt reservation is currently the object of illegal mining activities by local prospectors and even the Indians themselves.


“This reservation lies within an Indian village and is the object of general plunder,” Barreto observed.


“The information we have is that diamonds worth many millions of dollars have left this region and gone directly into the hands of international smugglers,” he pointed out.


The Secretary also informed that approximately US$ 1 million were allocated for the Funai to implant projects in the region, to enable the Indians to manage without having to extract diamonds.


He said that the lands are closed to mining, pending the approval of a project to regulate mineral extraction on Indian lands. There is currently a bill before the National Congress to regulate mineral extraction in these areas.


“What is essential is to regulate [these activities] in an intelligent manner, safeguarding the Indians’ interest, patrimony, and culture; providing for environmental restoration; and determining that the Union will be the biggest recipient of benefits from the subsoil,” he underscored.


According to Barreto, the regulations state that the Indians will be consulted about mining on their lands. With permission from the Indians, the Ministry of Justice will send the National Congress specific authorization requests for each mineral deposit.


If the Congress assents, the government can call for bids. The winning firm will be expected to pay the government royalties for quarrying the diamonds, take responsibility for restoring the environment, and establish a fund for the Indians.


Agência Brasil
Translator: David Silberstein

Tags:

  • Show Comments (1)

  • nino spinelli

    Brazilian government is subject to the Cinta_larga
    I strongly suggest The leaders of Brazil and anyone who care about the earth to read the Hopi Prophecy http://www.welcomehome.org/rainbow/prophecy/hopi1.html I live in Arizona, ths U.S.A., has and still extracts minerals from the land of these sacred people. You will only bring destruction to the land unless you understand that these ancient cultures and their ways are far more importand than we in the “modern” “civilized” cultures ever imagined. The balance of the world depends on keeping them intact and learning and embracing what they can teach us. Whos’ culture is the “advanced” one? the culture that destroyes and polutes the land and makes wars? Or the culture that lives in harmony with the land and is at peace and communion with the very plants!?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

Ads

You May Also Like

Jobs Keep Growing in Brazil for 14th Consecutive Month

Brazil’s industrial indicators for February, released yesterday by the National Confederation of Industry (CNI), ...

Diesel Oil Spill Threatens Brazil’s Swamps

More than 60 thousand liters of diesel oil leaked from the tank cars of ...

José Marcolino and family by Sérgio Tomizaki/Agência Meios

Recycling in Brazil Becomes Ticket Out of Poverty and Inspires World

When he was unemployed, after years working as a welder, 49-year-old José Marcolino da ...

Brazil Wants More than an Apology from London for Killing of Brazilian

Federal deputy Maria José Maninha from the Workers Party has called for action by ...

Brazil’s Presidential Campaign Advisor Resigns Over Spying Charges

An alleged espionage plan to tap information from the opposition presidential candidate José Serra ...

Brazilian Congress Will Hear from Finance Minister on Corruption Probe

The chairman of Brazil’s Bingo Parliamentary Investigative Commission (CPI), Efraim Morais (PFL party from ...

Calendar

To understand Brazil’s rural unionism, we need to distinguish among the movement’s four different ...

Brazil Tells the US and EU: ‘World Won’t Wait Another 20 Years’

As trade talks continue in Hong Kong, delegates from the G-20 group of developing ...

A couple from Brazil's Northeast

20,000 Rich Families Rule Brazil, But the Poorest Elect the President

According to polls, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has emerged unscathed from ...