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Bolsonaro blames indigenous protection policies for limiting Brazil's economy as Amazon burns

The Co-ordination of Indigenous Organisations of the Brazilian Amazon vows to protect their homes from the country's far-right government

BRAZILIAN far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has claimed that his country’s policies protecting indigenous people are holding back its economy. 
 
Mr Bolsonaro met with state governors in the Amazon region yesterday to discuss the ongoing fires that continue to devastate one of the planet’s most important sources of oxygen. 
 
At the meeting, the “Trump of the Tropics” claimed that many of Brazil’s nature reserves were “located strategically” and that “someone arranged this.”  
 
“[The indigenous peoples] don’t speak our language, but they have managed to get 14 per cent of our national territory,” he said, brazenly misrepresenting Brazil’s colonial history.  
 
“One of the intentions of this is to impair us,” he added. 
 
Meanwhile, the country’s indigenous peoples hit out at the far-right government. 
 
The Co-ordination of Indigenous Organisations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), a group defending the human rights of over 150 peoples who inhabit the rainforest, expressed extreme concern over the destruction of indigenous homes.
 
“The record rates of deforestation and outbreaks of fire are a consequence of the anti-indigenous and anti-environmental genocidal policies of this government,” COIAB said in a statement. 
 
“Loggers are taking our land and irresponsible landlords are taking advantage of the weakening environmental surveillance to advance into our homes.
 
“We will not admit such destruction to our homes. They want to wipe us out, but the people of this land will not let them. We will fight for you and us.”
 
Renowned indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara told Survival International that her people were “putting our bodies and our lives on the line to try to save our territories.
 
“We’ve been warning for decades about the violations we have suffered across Brazil.
 
“The predatory behaviour of loggers, miners and ranchers, who have a powerful lobby in the National Congress with more than 200 deputies under their influence, has been getting much worse under the anti-indigenous government of Jair Bolsonaro, who normalises, incites and empowers violence against the environment and against us.”

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