Environment

Brazilian Congress weakens indigenous land rights with new bill

Hundreds of indigenous demonstrators have assembled outside of Brazil's Congress, protesting a bill to undermine land demarcation rights

indigenous land rights
Clashes turned violent on Tuesday. Photo: Wallace Martins/Futura Press/Folhapress

In a cabinet meeting in April last year, Brazil’s Environment Minister Ricardo Salles — who resigned yesterday under pressure from a pair of criminal investigations for allegedly using his office to benefit illegal loggers —  urged the government to take advantage of the undivided press attention on the Covid-19 pandemic to “run the cattle herd” through the Amazon, “changing all of the rules and simplifying standards.”

While Mr. Salles did not expect his remarks made during a behind-closed-doors meeting to become public knowledge, his department has done precisely that. Researchers at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro showed...

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