Indigenous sociologist: Bolsonaro sets the tone at the UN,

Jair Bolsonaro’s (non-party) speech at the opening of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) refers to the proposal of “integration” of the indigenous people into the nation-state in the military dictatorship (1964-1985) and points to genocide and the ethnocide.

The assessment is by sociologist Pagu Rodrigues, of the Fulni-ô ethnic group, who is a member of the Indigenous Peoples Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) in São Paulo.

In the speech, Bolsonaro even said that “indigenous people want to use their land for agriculture and other activities.”

“His speech does not recognize the plurinationality of indigenous ethnic groups in the country and ignores the conflicts that have been created, precisely because we are against the lease of land,” says Pagu.

The sociologist recalls that the president completely ignored the recent protests by indigenous peoples against setbacks to rights in Brazil.

In the speech, the Brazilian president did not mention, for example, the clashes over the thesis of the “time frame”, which hinders the access of indigenous peoples to rights.


The judgment of opinion 001/2017 of the Attorney General of the Union (AGU) is in progress at the Federal Supreme Court (STF), which established a “time frame” to allow new demarcations of indigenous lands.

Celebrated by ruralists and sectors with an interest in the economic exploitation of traditional territories, the AGU opinion states that indigenous peoples only have the right to claim lands that were already occupied on October 5, 1988, the day the Constitution was promulgated.

According to the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), since its publication in the government of Michel Temer (MDB), the “time frame” thesis made the demarcation of at least 27 indigenous lands unfeasible, which had their processes returned by the Ministry of Justice and Security Public for the National Indian Foundation (Funai).

In addition, another 310 indigenous lands have stagnant demarcation processes, according to the Indigenous Missionary Council (Cimi).

smoke curtain

“The time frame is an attempt by the ruralist caucus to, once again, advance on indigenous territories and deepen the extractivism model”, says Pagu Rodrigues. “Bolsonaro’s speech brings a smokescreen to what has been happening in the indigenous territories.”

Bolsonaro told the UN that about 13% of the land is demarcated. For the sociologist, the mention of the data occurs in an attempt to reinforce that “there is a lot of land for a few Indians.”

“It was during the Bolsonaro government that indigenous leaders were killed the most in conflicts over land. And the discourse that Bolsonaro presents at the UN is, in fact, one of genocide and ethnocide of the indigenous population”, he adds.


Exactly a year ago, Bolsonaro spoke at the UN Assembly and blamed indigenous people for the burnings in the Amazon. Since then, there has been an adjustment in the tone of the Brazilian president, to avoid isolation.

“It is an attempt to alleviate the international denunciations that have been made in relation to his government, both about the pandemic and about deforestation”, analyzes the indigenous sociologist.

Pagu Rodrigues concludes by recalling that Bolsonaro distorted the data on the vaccination of indigenous people.

“He only cited the vaccination data of those who are in approved indigenous lands. This number does not include the 40% that are in the urban context or in non-approved lands, where vaccination is proceeding at a slow pace, despite the determination of the STF”, he concludes. .

Edition: Anelize Moreira

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