National Indigenous Mobilization Week in Brazil
Indigenous people in Brazil have begun a weeklong campaign. The protest is against a proposed constitutional amendment known as PEC 215, which amends the rules for demarcation of indigenous lands. Indigenous people represent one percent of Brazil’s more than 200 million-strong population and occupy 12 percent of the national territory, mainly in the Amazon.
According to the organizers, the protest is part of the National Indigenous Mobilization, with events in various parts of Brazil from September 30 to October 5, to defend the territorial rights of the indigenous population against the government, agribusiness and large mining and energy companies.
The Indian protests were occurring on the 25th anniversary of Brazil’s constitution, which is considered one of the world’s most generous in terms of allocating land to natives. But an article in the document stating that Indians have the right to occupy their ancestral lands is under fire from the country’s powerful farm lobby, which is arguing for the popularly elected Congress to have a say in the creation of reserves.
A study by a group linked to the Roman Catholic Church has said violence against the indigenous rose in 2012, with 54 Indians killed - most of them over land disputes. More than 600 demarcation plans are pending. Only seven indigenous territories were created last year, the Missionary Indigenous Council says.
1- Indigenous Brazilians march along Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo, Brazil on October 2, 2013, at the beginning of the National Indigenous Mobilization Week. (Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images)
2- Indians from various parts of Brazil take part in a demonstration in Sao Paulo, October 2, 2013. (Paulo Whitaker/Reuters)
3- An indigenous Indian takes part in a demonstration in Brasilia, October 2, 2013. (Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)
4- A protester bites a fish caught from the lake in front of the Justice Palace during a demonstration in Brasilia, October 2, 2013. (Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)
5- Indigenous Brazilians are seen during a demonstration by Greenpeace activists and indigenous citizens near government buildings in Brasilia on October 1, 2013. (Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images)