Bolsonaro says he will do no indigenous land demarcation

He argued environmental and indigenous reserves hinder development

Published on 16/08/2019 - 15:17 By Andreia Verdélio - Brasília

President Jair Bolsonaro said today (Aug 16) that countries investing in Brazil for environmental preservation are “buying Brazil in installments.” He criticized Norway, which, like Germany, decided to suspend its financial contribution to the Amazon Fund.

“These people are buying Brazil in installments. This purchase in the past was also done by demarcating land. Brazil would only make deals overseas in exchange for forgoing its sovereignty, demarcating indigenous territories, expanding parks,” he said. As an example, he cited the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, in Goiás state, expanded in 2017 under then President Michel Temer.

In the president’s view, the reserves hinder development in the country. “It can’t go on like this. You can’t do anything in 61 percent of Brazil. In some places, if you want to produce, you can’t, because you can’t go on a straight line to export, or sell, you have to go on a huge curve to go around a quilombola community, an indigenous territory, an environmental reserve. They’re ruining the country,” the president said upon leaving the Alvorada residence early on Friday.

Bolsonaro went on to declare he will do no land demarcation during his administration. “As long as I am president, no indigenous land will be demarcated,” he said. “They own 14 percent of the national territory. Imagine the Southeast—an area larger than that is indigenous. Isn’t that enough? Yesterday [16], I was once again with a group of indigenous people, and they want freedom to work in their area; they don’t want to live in confinement, like prehistoric beings,” he added.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Juliana Andrade / Nita Foster

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