Brazil’s Bill 490

Protests have broken out across Brazil in response to the approval of a new land bill by the country’s Chamber of Deputies. The bill, known as Bill 490, imposes restrictions on the recognition of ancestral land for indigenous people. This move has sparked outrage and opposition from tribal communities and their supporters.

Approval of Bill 490

Bill 490 was approved by a vote of 283 to 155 in the Chamber of Deputies. This outcome has heightened tensions and exacerbated the already existing disputes over land rights and indigenous sovereignty in Brazil.

Land Recognition Condition

Under the new law, tribal people can only obtain recognition for land they have been occupying since before the constitution of 1988. This condition restricts the ability of indigenous communities to claim their ancestral lands, which they consider vital for their cultural preservation and livelihoods.

Concerns Raised by Experts

Experts have raised several concerns regarding the new law. One major worry is the increased vulnerability of tribal communities to land exploitation, deforestation, and violence. By limiting land recognition, the legislation opens the door for land sharks and natural resource exploration, potentially leading to further habitat loss and environmental degradation.

Lack of Prior Consultation

Amazon Watch, a non-profit organization focused on rainforest and tribal rights, has criticized the lack of prior consultation before the passage of the bill. They argue that the absence of meaningful dialogue with indigenous communities violates international standards and undermines the rights of indigenous peoples.

Ancestral Lands in the Amazon Rainforest

Most of the tribal territories considered ancestral lands are located in the Amazon rainforest. These areas hold immense cultural and ecological significance for indigenous communities, who act as stewards of the natural environment.

Global Criticism and Solidarity

The bill has faced criticism from the global community, which has expressed solidarity with the affected tribes of Brazil. Many view the legislation as a violation of international standards, including the International Labour Organization Convention 169 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


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