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  • The Karitiana are an indigenous group in Brazil.

  • They live on protected land, deep in the Amazon rainforest.

  • When it was established in 1986, it was surrounded by rainforest.

  • But today, it's almost completely surrounded by farms.

  • This kind of encroachment is happening across the Amazon.

  • Brazil has over 400 protected indigenous lands.

  • But its booming agricultural industry has spent the last few decades clearing the rainforest around them.

  • Now they want in.

  • And they have the perfect ally to help them.

  • Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro wants the expansion of farms to continue.

  • Even at the expense of protected lands.

  • And that's put 900,000 indigenous people at the risk of losing their homes,

  • and their way of life.

  • At the start of the 20th century, Brazil was

  • intent on becoming a modern country.

  • Cities along the coast were already being developed.

  • But the Amazon, which covers almost half the country, was remote, inaccessible,

  • and home to tens of thousands of indigenous people who had lived there for centuries.

  • Around the 1920s, Brazil's government pushed an aggressive plan

  • to change the shape of the Amazon.

  • They brought telegraph lines, roads, schools, and people into the Amazon,

  • while forcibly these indigenous groups out of the way.

  • "Troops had to be called out in Brasilia

  • to quell the bitter protests of thousands,

  • through a brief and bloodless military coup."

  • Then, in the 1960s, a brutal military dictatorship took over Brazil and carried out genocide

  • against indigenous people.

  • They took away their lands to build highways, mines and dams across the Amazon.

  • During this time, more than 8,300 indigenous people were killed,

  • and tens of thousands had lost their homes.

  • In 1985, the military regime collapsed and Brazil became a democracy.

  • The new constitution included historic reparations for the country's indigenous people.

  • It recognized their culture and traditions.

  • And even gave them a way to get their lands back.

  • Indigenous groups could claim their traditional territory with a government agency, called

  • FUNAI, that would demarcate the borders of a new protected land.

  • After final approval from Brazil's president, FUNAI would then monitor and protect it.

  • Soon, protected indigenous lands were being set up all over the Amazon.

  • And today they make up around 13% of the country.

  • Which includes the Karitiana's land.

  • But it wasn't long before these lands would be threatened again.

  • From the 1990s to the 2000s, Brazil's economy

  • was one of the fastest growing in the world - fueled, primarily, by agriculture.

  • The country became one of the top producers of beef and soybeans,

  • while logging and mining were also significant industries.

  • But the economic boom had a downside.

  • All of these industries needed more and more land, a lot of which came from the Amazon.

  • The rainforest was rapidly cut down in Para, Rondonia, and Mato Grosso states,

  • to make room for cattle pastures and farms,

  • often leaving the protected indigenous lands as the only forest left.

  • Before long, Brazil's agricultural industry wanted to gain access to these areas too.

  • And they found support within the government.

  • They lobbied to weaken the rules around protected indigenous lands that they claimed were barriers to progress.

  • And their pressure started to show results...

  • From 2003 to 2010, President Lula da Silva approved 87 indigenous reserves.

  • But his successor, Dilma Rousseff, approved just 21.

  • Followed by Michel Temer, who approved only one.

  • Rousseff and Temer also cut FUNAI's funding, which forced the agency to close

  • dozens of offices in the Amazon, leaving indigenous people unprotected.

  • As FUNAI's power declined, illegal invasions of protected indigenous lands increased.

  • By 2017, Brazil's indigenous were under attack.

  • Loggers, ranchers, and farmers felt emboldened

  • under a government heavily influenced by the agricultural industry.

  • And soon, the man leading Brazil's presidential race would further tip the scales in their favor.

  • As a former member of the Army during the military regime, he shared many of their

  • oppressive political views, especially those towards indigenous groups:

  • These words earned him the endorsement of the agricultural industry,

  • but deeply worried indigenous groups.

  • As soon as Bolsonaro took office, he turned his attention to the indigenous.

  • He slashed FUNAI's budget, and hasn't approved any new lands.

  • In fact, he's proposed taking away FUNAI's power to demarcate new lands entirely.

  • And he appointed a former police officer, with strong ties to the agriculture industry,

  • to lead FUNAI.

  • Under Bolsonaro, invasions of indigenous lands have skyrocketed in just the first 9 months of 2019.

  • Just ten days after Bolsonaro took office in January 2019,

  • 40 armed men invaded this land.

  • By May, 20,000 illegal miners had invaded the Yanomami reserve.

  • And in July, invaders cleared a huge section of forest in the Xikrin land.

  • The Karitiana are worried that they could be next.

  • Illegal agricultural activities have been happening here,

  • right next to the Karitiana land.

  • And they've brought actual threats of violence to the people living there.

  • In the past, the indigenous groups had FUNAI,

  • a protective agency they could turn to for help.

  • But now they're left to rely on themselves.

  • Hi, thanks for watching the third and final episode of Vox Atlas: the Amazon mini-series.

  • My name is Ana Terra Athayde

  • and I'm a video journalist based in Brazil.

  • I went to the Amazon to report on the ground and to meet with

  • the people who provided us with invaluable information.

  • I want to thank them all for their time and for sharing their concerns with us.

  • Make sure to watch the series' previous videos.

  • The first one explains what drives deforestation in the rainforest.

  • And in the second video, we take a look at the rubber industry in the Amazon,

  • and the work and legacy of Chico Mendes.

  • Thanks again for watching.

The Karitiana are an indigenous group in Brazil.

Subtitles and keywords

B1 INT indigenous brazil amazon protected indigenous people rainforest

Brazil's indigenous land is being invaded

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    林宜悉   posted on 2020/09/18
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