December 19, 2019 / 12:21 PM / a month ago

Brazil's Bolsonaro says bill to allow mining on native reserves ready

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro poses for a picture wearing a Santa Claus hat during a Christmas ceremony at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil December 19, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday that a bill authorizing mining on protected indigenous reserves was ready and only needed to be sent to Congress for consideration.

Bolsonaro told supporters that indigenous people should also be allowed to commercially farm on reserves, a practice currently prohibited, and that native populations should be involved in a drive to expand the country’s beef production.

Bolsonaro has called for indigenous people to be assimilated into Brazilian society, arguing they are unfairly forced to live in misery separately.

“The Indian will be able to do on his land everything that a farmer does,” Bolsonaro said.

But many tribes say they are suffering more attacks and invasion of their land by loggers, miners and farmers because of Bolsonaro’s rhetoric.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Jake Spring; Editing by Edmund Blair and Steve Orlofsky

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