Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has chosen to celebrate his 400th day in office signing and sending to Congress a bill proposal to sell vast portions of the Amazon to mining companies, by opening up indigenous lands to industrial mining and to wildcat miners.
If the project passes Congress, mining in indigenous lands, meant as an exception by the 1988 Brazilian Constitution, will become the rule, thus leading to an increase in deforestation, invasions of indigenous lands, and violence against native peoples. It also deepens the reputational cliff Bolsonaro has shoved the country into, consolidating the image of Brazil as a risky destination to productive foreign investment. Responsible investors, concerned with the climate crisis, will hardly take deforestation and indigenous blood into their portfolios.
The Climate Observatory trusts that House Speaker Rodrigo Maia and Senate President Davi Alcolumbre may honor their previous commitments not to take that genocidal project to vote. They both gave their word that Congress would reject any proposition that was detrimental to the forest and its peoples. It is the time to test such determination.