ulterior interests

Image: Igor Kishi


The blow to indigenous rights and the Brazilian people after the approval in the Chamber of Deputies of the temporal framework bill

“Luís Inácio spoke, Luís Inácio warned / There are three hundred pickaxes with a doctor’s ring / Luís Inácio spoke, Luís Inácio warned / Luís Inácio spoke, Luís Inácio warned / There are three hundred pickaxes with a doctor’s ring / Luís Inácio spoke, Luís Inácio warned / They were offended by the statement / Which actually reflects the feeling of the nation / It's lobbying, it's collusion, it's bribery and jeton / Variations on the same theme without going out of tune”.

This excerpt from the lyrics of the song “Luis Inácio (300 picks)” by Herbert Vianna do Paralamas do Sucesso and composed in 1995, if it were re-released today, after approval by the Chamber of Deputies on May 30, 2023 of the bill on the time frame for the demarcation of indigenous lands, would be well up to date.

This blow to indigenous rights and the Brazilian people, limiting the demarcation of original peoples, targeting hidden interests, opens the gate for the passage of the herd in various sectors of our fragile society, since the demarcation of indigenous territories can only be recognized until the date of enactment of the Federal Constitution on October 05, 1988.

“For the Guarani Indians, the land without evil is not a distant dream, but a reality conquered every dawn. The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) holds the Fraternity Campaign every year during Lent. The motto of the campaign in 2002 – For a land without evil –, in celebration of the Week of the Indigenous Peoples, was and will continue to be an invitation to reflect on the love of these peoples for the land”.[1]

We need to be careful so that this “land without evil”, with these approvals in the Chamber of Deputies, does not become an increasingly distant dream and destroying one of our most precious assets, which is water, surface and underground, existing in the territory Brazilian because, as we can see, there are people in this legislative house interested in letting the cattle pass in the waters.

It is worth noting “[…] that all water to be withdrawn, whether surface or underground, with the exception of small volumes, requires a grant of the right to use water resources, granted by the public authorities, upon compliance with conditions that ensure the interest of the community. population in water use. In addition, it is emphasized that its use must not cause any kind of impact, such as, for example, the contamination of soil and water by elements, compounds or organisms that may harm the health of humans or animals. The impact of contamination, whether in urban or rural areas, should be one of the major concerns of public authorities and public or private users.

Water is a right of the population and the government has to ensure that no citizen is excluded from this public good. It must be fraternally shared and not used as a commodity. Any Bill that threatens the interests of the population in the use of water, including groundwater from the Guarani Aquifer, deserves special attention and monitoring by organized civil society, so that it is barred from the Congress a possible initiative in this direction”.[2]

“It never hurts to remember that soil and water remediation is complex and can be costly, such as the extensive areas contaminated by mercury due to predatory, illegal and criminal activity, as has been happening in the Amazon and invading Yanomani territory. So, how should we proceed in the face of this aggression to the environment? It is hoped that these invaders of the Amazon who have been deforesting, burning, grabbing, mining and contaminating its soils and waters for some time will be duly identified, held accountable and punished in accordance with the law”.[3]

The damage has already been done. “An unpublished study identified that fish consumed by the population in six states of the Brazilian Amazon have mercury contamination with a concentration of the metal 21,3% above the permitted level”, as reported by the G1 portal on 30/05/2023. The study included data from the states of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia and Roraima.[4]

At the end of a recent interview for the magazine But 60 from Sesc, Ailton Krenak, indigenous leader, environmentalist, writer and journalist, quoted a short poem, with the following consideration:

“Singing, dancing, passing over fire / We follow in the footsteps of our ancestors / In the continuum of tradition

Singing, dancing, passing over fire, that is to say, passing over fire is the radical experience of being alive. That's when we are tested. When you have the clashes of life. When we are challenged to be, at each time, what the times we are living in demand from us”.[5]

We are being tested by this approval and with others, possibly triggered in the Chamber of Deputies. How long are we going to hold on? “I rebel, therefore I am” (Albert Camus).

* Heraldo Campos, a geologist, is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Hydraulics and Sanitation at the School of Engineering of São Carlos-USP.


[1] The Guarani of the waters and the Indians


[2] The cattle in the waters


[3] Mercury that kills

[4] Fish consumed by the population in 6 states of the Amazon are contaminated by mercury, according to a study


[5] Interview with Ailton Krenak


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