An act in the vicinity of the Chamber of Deputies this Tuesday (22) against a project that changes the demarcation of indigenous lands in Brazil was repressed by the Military Police with tear gas and rubber bullets, according to organizers of the demonstration.
Indigenous people protested against the appreciation, by the CCJ (Commission for Constitution and Justice), of a project that changes the Indian Statute.
The rapporteur of the text, Deputy Arthur Maia (DEM-BA), proposed a time frame for the demarcation of lands and considers, among other things, those occupied by Indians on October 5, 1988, the date of promulgation of the Federal Constitution.
In addition, the text allows the retaking of indigenous lands reserved in favor of the Union, in the event of a “change in the cultural traits of the community” or other factors over time.
To prevent the vote on the text in the CCJ, which decides whether or not a proposal violates constitutional precepts, indigenous people began, about two weeks ago, to protest in front of one of the Chamber’s annexes.
On Tuesday, the date on which the vote on the opinion was scheduled, around 700 indigenous people did the same, but were repressed when they protested against the proposal.
In a note, the PM said that the Indians protested in front of Annex 2 of the Chamber.
“Congressional security guards reacted with gas bombs. The PM was called and arrived at the scene shortly afterwards,” the note states. “A military police officer was shot in the foot by an arrow. He was rescued by the Congressional Medical Service. He is doing well. The riot police are on site to avoid further confrontation. Traffic on S2 is partially blocked.”
According to organizers of the acts, the confusion started when the indigenous people marched towards the annex of the Chamber. Before approaching a barricade, the police reportedly started firing tear gas and rubber bullets.
Isabel Tukano, general coordinator of the Levante for Earth organization, says that the demonstration was taking place peacefully, as on other days. “We were received with great truculence. We were coming like every day. The children were received with bullets, at least three indigenous people were injured. We are unarmed.”
Tukano criticizes the content of the project reported by Arthur Maia. “In general, there will be a setback. It does not give prior consultation to indigenous people. When a miner arrives, he will get a license, shoot and say that the land is his. It is opening up for the miners to invade indigenous lands.”
Circulating videos show police hurling stun bombs at the fleeing protesters.
Because of the turmoil, the CCJ session was closed at the request of the police, according to the commission’s president, Bia Kicis (PSL-DF).
Deputy Rogério Correia (PT-MG) criticized the police repression. “It is an act of cowardice. The Indians were defenseless, there was no chance of them entering the Chamber, as the doors were all closed,” he stated. “This bill has to be removed from the agenda. Voting this in a pandemic is cowardice. The Chamber needs to review this vote.”