Thousands of indigenous people demonstrate against gold mining

Around 6,000 indigenous people have demonstrated in Brasília against gold prospecting in indigenous areas.

As part of the “Blood Gold: March against gold mining that kills and cuts down forests” campaign, they marched in front of the Brazilian capital’s Ministry of Mines and Energy and threw mud against its windows, as the news portal “G1” reported on Monday (local time).

The mud was supposed to represent the pollution and death caused by prospecting for gold. Some also used it to write slogans against President Jair Bolsonaro on the panes.

Since Monday last week, the indigenous people have been in Brazil for a large, around ten-day protest camp. They defend the establishment of protected areas and protest the “anti-indigenous agenda” of right-wing President Bolsonaro’s government.

This includes the “Marco Temporal”, which large landowners interpret in such a way that indigenous peoples can only claim land where they lived before the 1988 constitution. According to environmentalists, the rights of the indigenous people are curtailed. In addition, there are legislative projects that are intended to allow the hitherto illegal gold mining in indigenous areas.

Roberto Maldonado, Brazil consultant at the environmental protection organization WWF, sharply criticized the planned legislative projects as a “license to the poisonous gold rush”: “If the government legalizes illegal gold mining, then it cements its devastating social, health and ecological consequences: people poisoned with mercury, animals and bodies of water and destroyed forests.”

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220412-99-887007/3

As part of the action “Blood Gold: March against the gold mining that kills and cuts down forests”, indigenous people are protesting in the capital Brasilia. Photo: Eraldo Peres/AP/dpa

A protester has painted his face red - it represents spilled indigenous blood.  Photo: Eraldo Peres/AP/dpa

A protester has painted his face red – it represents spilled indigenous blood. Photo: Eraldo Peres/AP/dpa


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