Brazil will have first Indigenous woman chief for key post

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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s president-elect Luis Inacio Lula da Silva announced on Thursday that Sonia Guajajara will head a new Ministry of Indigenous Peoples, empowered to oversee policies ranging from land demarcation to health care. Given the.

guajajara Elected to the House of Representatives in October. She is widely recognized as the leader of the major umbrella groups of many indigenous tribes in Brazil, and is a member of the Amazon Her Guajajara. This year, she made Time magazine’s annual list of her 100 most influential people in the world.

“This is more than a personal achievement,” Guajajara said. “This is a collective achievement of indigenous peoples and a historic moment of reparation in Brazil.” The creation of the ministry “is a confirmation of Lula’s commitment to us,” she said in a tweet.

Lula promised to create an Indigenous Cabinet Division during the presidential election. January 1st, he will return to powerHe ruled Brazil from 2003 to 2010.

Guajajara’s appointment to such a post marks a 180-degree turn from Brazil’s current government. President Jair Bolsonaro, who was defeated in October, has opposed land with a record of indigenous rights and racist remarks. In 1998, when he was still a fringe congressman, he addressed the Brazilian Congress, praising the U.S. Cavalry for “mass killing of Indians” and regretting that Brazil had not done the same. Did.

Bolsonaro’s promise to develop the Amazon, and his environmental law enforcement defenses, have led to a surge in illegal loggers, miners and land robbers into Brazil’s indigenous territories. About 20,000 illegal gold miners are currently operating illegally. Only in Yanomami territory.

Guajajara has vehemently opposed attempts to legalize these policies, and the opposition has been largely successful. Fight against illegal loggers.

After the official announcement of her and 15 other appointments In the capital of Brasilia on Thursday, several indigenous organizations, among them the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon, congratulated her on social media.

The organization of officials involved in indigenous affairs also congratulated the future minister and the indigenous social movement at large on the nomination.

Indigenous land in Brazil is one of the most important carbon sinks in the world. The Amazon rainforest acts as a buffer against climate change by absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide.

About 13% of Brazil’s territory is marked as indigenous territory, roughly the size of Colombia. Most of them are in the Amazon and are covered with rainforest.


The Associated Press’ climate and environmental coverage is supported by several private foundations. Learn more about AP’s climate initiatives hereAP is solely responsible for all content.

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