On the day the calendar marks the Day of the Indian (19 April), CESE views, with care and concern, indigenous and environmentalist agendas, which constitute one of the great setbacks of the first 100 days of the Bolsonaro government.
Examples include certain measures, a notable one being the transfer of jurisdiction for the demarcation of indigenous lands from the National Indian Foundation (Fundação Nacional do Índio: FUNAI) to the Ministry of Agriculture, and the recent decision of Luiz Henrique Mandetta, Minister of Health, to close the Special Department for Indigenous Health (Secretaria Especial de Saúde Indígena: SESAI), putting these people’s health on the scrap heap, leaving the indigenous to agonize to death in the municipalities, abandoning federal government responsibility. Following national mobilizations, this measure was briefly set aside.
Recent attacks on original peoples have been added to the historical reality of massacres, expulsion from lands, racism and the criminalization and assassination of their leaders. In order to transform this context, CESE continues to act in the struggle and defence of the rights of indigenous peoples. Over the last 15 years (2004-2018), the organization has supported approximately 517 projects, benefiting 325 thousand representatives of original peoples around Brazil. #IndigenousApril #19April #DayofIndigenousResistance