Society

Neglect in Sarauá indicative of Bolsonaro’s indigenous track record

Hundreds of non-indigenous families have settled in the protected Sarauá indigenous territory, but government agencies have done nothing to remove them

Indigenous groups during an August 2021 protest in at the Three Powers Square — where all three branches of government are headquartered.
Indigenous groups during an August 2021 protest in at the Three Powers Square — where all three branches of government are headquartered. Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/ABr

The Sarauá indigenous territory is a 19,000-hectare piece of land on the banks of the Capim River, in the Amazonian state of Pará. According to the most recent population estimates, fewer than 200 members of the indigenous Amanayé ethnicity live on the land — which is being progressively swallowed up by non-indigenous invaders, seeking to use the territory for farming.

Federal prosecutors in Pará claim the risks of conflict have heightened since 2018, and the situation could derail into an “unprecedented tragedy.” Earlier this year, a court ordered 260 non-indigenous families to leave Sarauá. 

The ruling gave invaders 90 days...

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