Forced relocation puts Brasília, Roraima at odds


Brazil’s creation last month of a 4.2-million-acre (1.7-million-ha) indigenous reserve in northeastern Roraima state has angered state officials—and even some Indians—who argue non-indigenous farmers and settlers should be allowed to remain on isolated islands of property within the protected area. On April 19, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva issued a decree formally establishing the reserve, which occupies 8% of Roraima, covering an area substantially larger than the U.S. state of Connecticut. Funai, the federal government’s Indian-affairs agency, considers the move key to safeguarding tribal cultures and rainforest habitat. In 1992, federal authorities declared the lands of the Ingarikó, Macuxi, Patamona, Taurepang, and Wapixana peoples to be indigenous, and in 1998-1999 it demarcated the reserve, called Raposa... [Log in to read more]

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