Manifesto: no to the predatory exploitation of territories and the violation of indigenous rights


APIB positions itself against the PL 1610/96, which “provides for the exploitation of mineral resources in indigenous lands”

The articulation of indigenous peoples of Brazil – APIB, faced with the imminence of being placed in voting the substitutive authored by Mr Vincent Lee, the PMDB of Roraima, 1610/96 PL, which rules on mining in Indian lands, publicly express its abhorrence over this Act of grave threat and restriction to the rights of indigenous peoples, operated by the Federal Constitution, the Convention 169 of the ILO and the UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.

The APIB understands that trying to approve the PL 1610 part of scams promoted and implemented by the current Government and its ally against indigenous rights, through a series of administrative, legal and legislative measures which have, in common, to derail the demarcation of indigenous lands, reverse current procedures and provide indigenous territories and its riches to the voracity of the transnational and national capital. This is the context of the rural Caucus-sponsored changes in the forest code and of the series of decrees and ordinances geared to make legislation that bolsters the indigenous, quilombolas and areas of conservation units. Part of these measures the following Ordinances:

-2498/2011 Ordinance aimed at the participation of federated entities in the process of identification and demarcation of indigenous lands;

-419/2011 Ordinance, which regulates the activities of FUNAI, in term whimsy, in the process of environmental licensing of developments of the growth acceleration program – PAC (hydroelectric power, mining, ports, waterways, roads, transmission lines, etc.);

-Decree 303/2012, which proposes to “standardize” the role of legal bodies of the Federal Government’s direct and indirect in relation to the institutional safeguards to Indian lands. Given the desire of landowners and agribusiness, the gatehouse, in fact, seeks to extend to all indigenous lands the conditions decided by the Federal Supreme Court (STF) in the Lawsuit against the Raposa Serra do Sol indigenous land (3,888 Petition-Roraima/STF). The Government issued the Ordinance even though the decision of the SUPREME COURT has not yet made a final decision and these conditions may undergo modifications or even be removed. The Ordinance states that indigenous lands can be occupied by units, posts and other military interventions, road, hydropower projects and knitting minerals of strategic nature, without consulting the indigenous peoples and communities; determines the revision of demarcations in progress or already marked that are not in accordance with what the SUPREME COURT decided the case of Raposa Serra do Sol indigenous land; attacking the autonomy of indigenous peoples on their territories; limits and establishes the right of indigenous peoples to the exclusive use of natural resources in indigenous lands; transfers to the Chico Mendes Institute for biodiversity conservation (ICMBIO) control of indigenous lands, which were illegally and overlapping protected areas; and creates problems for the revision of boundaries demarcated indigenous land, which did not observe fully the indigenous law on traditional occupation.

The substitutive to 1,610 PL/96 is consonant with all these measures, strengthened by PEC 038 and 215, in advanced process of processing in the Federal Senate and Chamber of Deputies, respectively. Such measures are a series of legal and legislative procedures that comprise a mosaic of government laws and made that at this level the predatory exploitation of the soil and subsoil, which belong to indigenous territories.

Proponents of mining project in indigenous land claim that Brazil needs to grow and develop. The same rapporteur, Mr Vincent Lee, said that “the objective is that the country can exploit the minerals and huge deposits that are in the basement of the indigenous lands, while they are guaranteed the rights of the people of the involved areas”. The text of the draft, however, is reportedly a misleading and part of retaliation of indigenous rights guaranteed by the Federal Constitution and the Convention 169. The text cares only so outrageous, to provide indigenous lands and their potential financial-speculative capital, mainly coal miner. Hence, the search authorization assertions and mineral mining in Indian lands, with enough amenities and conditions that allow easy and resulted in profit of the enterprises involved.

Because of this, the Congressman, among other damage, ignores the environmental, socio-cultural and spiritual safeguards laid down by the staff regulations proposal negotiated with the Government in the framework of the National Commission on Indigenous Policy (CNPI); creates the conditions for the race, the great mining, uncontrolled by the gold in the indigenous territories; enacts the attack on uncontacted indigenous peoples or of little contact, when submitting his fate to the principles of national security; establishes or laughable way puts the participation of Federal prosecutors their role of protecting indigenous rights; buries the autonomy of indigenous peoples, when submitting its decision not to want a resolution to mining Commission deliberative Government that should say which is the best proposal for the communities, reviving the paternalistic and authoritarian, tutelary indigeneity. Anyway, minimize the scope of the right of consultation established by the Convention 169 of the ILO;

The purpose of the consultation, the echoes Parliamentary intention to government sectors who want to reduce this to the simple approval of the installation of enterprises in indigenous territories. The 169 Convention, however, establishes the right of consultation and prior and informed consent, but also the right of indigenous peoples to choose their priorities of economic, social and cultural development, and to participate in the process of formulation, implementation and evaluation of national and regional development programmes, this perspective that is not contemplated by the draft in question and other initiatives by the Executive.

It is thus evident that the ore for countertop and related government sectors, indigenous territories, protected areas and the lands of the quilombolas are the last frontier of the expansion of capital and of the purposes of the country grow at any cost, in the perspective of reprimarização of the economy, making Brazil a country exporter of cheap raw material, among which are the ores, without caring about the poverty and misfortunes that lie behind. Even so, the Government assumes that the resources that come from participation in economic results generated by mining, through royalties, you will be able to offer better living conditions to the people affected. Balela!

The APIB believes that if the Government’s intentions were not directed to this prospect, he would not have measured efforts to fulfill the agreements negotiated with the indigenous movement since it was installed the CNPI in 2007. First, that the matter of mining would be treated only as part of the project the status of indigenous peoples, whose content was widely discussed in regional seminars, in the plenary of the CNPI and at Camp Earth 2009 free. Second, that the Government, through the Ministry of Justice, would ensure a process of dialogue with the Presidency of the Chamber of deputies to decide this matter on the basis of the draft statute (PL 2,057/1991) and the proposals discussed in the CNPI.

However, it caused weirdness that the Government prioritized the reinstallation of a Special Commission to discuss separately mining in Indian lands, leading at the time, an atmosphere of apprehension and tension that only exacerbates the social and legal insecurity already installed in indigenous territories on behalf of 303 Ordinance.

The APIB denounces: once again, the indigenous people have to pay the cost of governance and the exchange of favors that the Government does with its base of support, which includes senators and congressmen of the PMDB, PR and PDT, among other political acronyms involved directly or indirectly with mining ventures. Part of this list, among other names, the Minister of mines and energy, Edson Lobão and Sen. Romero Juca, author of the original proposal of PL 1610. Both authorities have son and daughter, respectively, in mining companies.

However, the indigenous peoples and communities to mining in their territories is presented as the solution to all their problems and realistic Diagnostics, because companies are required, besides the participation in the profits of the deadpan-what is not said! -compensatory measures as benefits in the areas of health and education, that lead to ignore today’s impacts, but not, as time passes, the woes that will remain for future generations.

It is well known, and not the Government and its parliamentary basis prove otherwise, that nowhere in the world has left mining impact, leaving behind weights of environmental degradation, poverty and social problems. Because there could be another the result of large structures essential for its operation: large mines, railroads, roads, industrial estates, pipeline right-of-way, migration of human conglomerates. Large, medium or small, mechanized small-scale mining or does damage anyway, affecting major areas for ecosystems, as the tops of hills, riverbanks, lakes, streams, groundwater and biodiversity niches. Not to mention the historical, religious and sacred sites (cemeteries, ritual areas) that are part of spiritual relationship indigenous peoples have with their land; and social impacts and conflicts arising from the presence of non-indigenous population: socio-cultural breakdown, prostitution, alcoholism, drugs, violence and other social and environmental impacts, underdevelopment and degradation, targeted or diabolical and unevenly distributed to reach the underprivileged classes, including indigenous peoples. As for mining companies and others involved on the concentration of exorbitant profits.

That the peoples and indigenous organizations make no mistake.The few crumbs coming of royalties or of social and environmental programs are actually palliative to minimize the violent mechanisms in future impacts unbridgeable gaps, produced by joint ventures, which include dams, fundamental works for the installation projects of mineral processing industries. Surely, mining can generate economic growth for the country and profit for national or transnational companies, but never decent development, social well-being and quality of life for local populations.

Already the federal Government believes and invests in another development model and a different logic of exploitation of natural resources, water and mineras, and has a duty, at the current juncture, to derail the approval of PL 1,610, while democratic and popular Government said in breaking down old paradigms, in search of another society less materially, socially exclusionary consumerist, devastating, and above all environmentally less anti-Indian, IE, tolerant and respectful with the ethnic and cultural diversity of the country, which reaches more than 305 different indigenous peoples, according to the last IBGE survey. Should also move to achieve the commitments made with the indigenous movement, giving priority to the adoption of the Statute of indigenous peoples and other legislative initiatives of interest to indigenous peoples such as the PL which creates the National Council for Indigenous Policy, which precludes further projects and PECs intended to restrict or reverse the indigenous rights guaranteed by the Federal Constitution of 1988. The information that the Government prepares a new regulatory framework for mining in the country, is a reason to prevent the approval of 1,610 PL, which seeks not only to legalize this activity, but, above all, set the cultural disintegration and distortion of indigenous peoples.

The peoples and indigenous organizations, to alert the APIB attempted government sectors of mitigating the impacts of all administrative, legal and legislative measures. Reports that the Special Committee discussing the matter is composed of parliamentarians whose majority has submitted requests and legislative initiatives of the Government’s interest, contrary to the demarcation of indigenous lands and to regulate mining on indigenous lands. The rapporteur himself, Mr Vincent Lee, among other proposals, has already presented a proposal for amendment to the Constitution (PEC-117/2007, combined to the PEC 215/2000) that gives new wording to article 231 of the Federal Constitution. The proposal establishes the competence of the Union to demarcate indigenous lands through law. Changes to the Federal Constitution of 1988, saying that: “the demarcations, for its complexity, effects and three results, with political, social and economic effects, cannot actually move off of the National Congress.” According to our understanding, the Senate and the House of representatives, who make up the National Congress, have competence and legitimacy to examine, discuss and vote on matters of such importance, beyond what its members are, respectively, the legitimate representatives of Member States and of the Brazilian society, which elected him. It is necessary, therefore, that changed the wording of the chapeau of article 231, so that indigenous lands be demarcated by law, because, well, these issues will pass through the sieve of the National Congress, where they will be examined. “

The APIB calls people and indigenous organizations and their allies to strengthen their struggle for their rights especially territorial guarantee recognized by the Federal Constitution and international treaties of which Brazil is a signatory, and that shamelessly ignores in the interests of capital and the neodesenvolvimentista model that chose to take hold as hegemonic in the international community.

Brasília-DF, October 23, 2012.

Articulation of the indigenous peoples of Brazil – APIB




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: