Indigenous group clashes with police outside Brazilian Congress

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, December 17, 2014
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A group representing several indigenous Brazilian tribes attempted to break into Brazilian Congress Tuesday to protest a bill they fear will endanger their way of life.

Police were called to stop the group and a policeman's toe was injured after his boot was pierced by an arrow during the confrontation.

The group was protesting a bill that would relax regulations for demarcating indigenous lands, and a second bill that would transfer the power to demarcate those lands from the executive branch to the legislative branch.

Brazil's large landholders have notable influence in Congress, and their interests frequently run counter to those of the indigenous communities.

According to Sonia Guajajara, the national coordinator of Brazil's Association of Indigenous Peoples, the indigenous people were not consulted on the bills.

Indigenous leaders have also recently protested the nomination of Congresswoman Katia Abreu to the Agriculture Ministry. Abreu, a longtime defendant of land owners' interests, is a fierce rival of indigenous groups and environmentalists.

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