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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Dozens of Indians Block Entrance to Presidential Palace in Brazil

BRASILIA Ė Dozens of Indians adorned with feathers, some armed with bows and arrows, blocked the entrance Tuesday to the Planalto presidential palace in Brazilís capital to demand that President Michel Temerís administration not violate their rights.

Guards did not intervene when the protesters gathered in front of the main gate and asked to meet with ďauthoritiesĒ and present their demands.

The protest continued without incident even though Indians from different groups blocked the palaceís main entrance, forcing visitors to enter and leave via side doors, an EFE reporter confirmed on the scene.

In a statement the protesters intend to deliver to officials, the Indians reject budget cuts proposed by the Temer administration and call for the appropriation of additional funds for programs on reservations.

The Indians also demand expedited land demarcation in their territories and protest the lack of safety around reservations, where conflicts over land ownership are common.

The statement reiterates the Indiansí opposition to a bill before Congress aimed at changing the rules governing land demarcation in indigenous territories.

The bill would transfer authority over land demarcation from the National Indian Foundation, or FUNAI, to Congress, where some lawmakers represent agricultural interests.

The legislation has been circulating in Congress for several years and is backed by lawmakers from Temerís party who hope to win approval for the bill next year.

 

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