Brazil’s indigenous land is being invaded

The Karitiana are an indigenous group in Brazil. They live on protected land, deep in the Amazon rainforest. When it was established in 1986, it was surrounded by rainforest. But today, it’s almost completely surrounded by farms. This kind of encroachment is happening across the Amazon. Brazil has over 400 protected indigenous lands. But its booming agricultural industry has spent the last few decades clearing the rainforest around them. Now they want in. And they have the perfect ally to help them. Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro wants the expansion of farms to continue. Even at the expense of protected lands. And that’s put 900,000 indigenous people at the risk of losing their homes, and their way of life. At the start of the 20th century, Brazil was intent on becoming a modern country. Cities along the coast were already being
developed. But the Amazon, which covers almost half the
country, was remote, inaccessible, and home to tens of thousands of indigenous people
who had lived there for centuries. Around the 1920s, Brazil’s government pushed an aggressive plan to change the shape of the Amazon. They brought telegraph lines, roads, schools, and people into the Amazon, while forcibly these indigenous groups out of the way. “Troops had to be called out in Brasilia to quell the bitter protests of thousands, through a brief and bloodless military coup.” Then, in the 1960s, a brutal military dictatorship
took over Brazil and carried out genocide against indigenous people. They took away their lands to build highways,
mines and dams across the Amazon. During this time, more than 8,300 indigenous
people were killed, and tens of thousands had lost their homes. In 1985, the military regime collapsed and
Brazil became a democracy. The new constitution included historic reparations
for the country’s indigenous people. It recognized their culture and traditions. And even gave them a way to get their lands
back. Indigenous groups could claim their traditional
territory with a government agency, called FUNAI, that would demarcate the borders of a new protected land. After final approval from Brazil’s president,
FUNAI would then monitor and protect it. Soon, protected indigenous lands were being
set up all over the Amazon. And today they make up around 13% of the country. Which includes the Karitiana’s land. But it wasn’t long before these lands would
be threatened again. From the 1990s to the 2000s, Brazil’s economy was one of the fastest growing in the world
– fueled, primarily, by agriculture. The country became one of the top producers of beef and soybeans, while logging and mining were also significant industries. But the economic boom had a downside. All of these industries needed more and more
land, a lot of which came from the Amazon. The rainforest was rapidly cut down in Para,
Rondonia, and Mato Grosso states, to make room for cattle pastures and farms, often leaving the protected indigenous lands
as the only forest left. Before long, Brazil’s agricultural industry
wanted to gain access to these areas too. And they found support within the government. They lobbied to weaken the rules around protected
indigenous lands that they claimed were barriers to progress. And their pressure started to show results… From 2003 to 2010, President Lula da Silva
approved 87 indigenous reserves. But his successor, Dilma Rousseff, approved just 21. Followed by Michel Temer, who approved only one. Rousseff and Temer also cut FUNAI’s
funding, which forced the agency to close dozens of offices in the Amazon, leaving
indigenous people unprotected. As FUNAI’s power declined, illegal invasions of protected indigenous lands increased. By 2017, Brazil’s indigenous were under attack. Loggers, ranchers, and farmers felt emboldened under a government heavily influenced by the agricultural industry. And soon, the man leading Brazil’s presidential
race would further tip the scales in their favor. As a former member of the Army during the
military regime, he shared many of their oppressive political views, especially those
towards indigenous groups: These words earned him the endorsement of the agricultural industry, but deeply worried indigenous groups. As soon as Bolsonaro took office, he turned
his attention to the indigenous. He slashed FUNAI’s budget, and hasn’t approved
any new lands. In fact, he’s proposed taking away FUNAI’s
power to demarcate new lands entirely. And he appointed a former
police officer, with strong ties to the agriculture industry, to lead FUNAI. Under Bolsonaro, invasions of indigenous lands have skyrocketed in just the first 9 months of 2019. Just ten days after Bolsonaro took office in January 2019, 40 armed men invaded this land. By May, 20,000 illegal miners had invaded the Yanomami reserve. And in July, invaders cleared a huge section of forest in the Xikrin land. The Karitiana are worried that they could be next. Illegal agricultural activities have been happening here, right next to the Karitiana land. And they’ve brought actual threats of violence to the people living there. In the past, the indigenous groups had FUNAI, a protective agency they could turn to for help. But now they’re left to rely on themselves. Hi, thanks for watching the third and final episode of Vox Atlas: the Amazon mini-series. My name is Ana Terra Athayde and I’m a video journalist based in Brazil. I went to the Amazon to report on the ground and to meet with the people who provided us with invaluable information. I want to thank them all for their time and for sharing their concerns with us. Make sure to watch the series’ previous videos. The first one explains what drives deforestation in the rainforest. And in the second video, we take a look at the rubber industry in the Amazon, and the work and legacy of Chico Mendes. Thanks again for watching.

About the author


  1. its the home of indiginouss people for more then 120.000 years according to new study.. and almost destroyed in 600 years by colonizers….

  2. Those reserves are going to be what’s left of the amazon rain forest. No doubt. And it’s sad, humans destroying the world for temporary gain and leaving their children and grandchildren to deal with their actions. Feels like the world is led by boomers…..oh….wait…

  3. vox:making an news about a country with a country that talks a language that only two countrys speak so they will be forced to read what we want

  4. 31 de março de 1964, o ano que o Brasil foi salvo do comunismo. 2018 o ano que o Brasil foi salvo do socialismo! BOLSONARO 2022 🔫🔰🏁 BRASIL ACIMA DE TUDO!

  5. Bolsonaro’s quote is Out of context
    Vídeo muito superficial, esqueceram de falar das milhares de ONGs europeias dentro do Brasil, com a desculpa de proteger a Amazônia e os índios. A verdade é que a Amazônia não é o pulmão do mundo. Uma vez q a maior fonte de o2 são os oceanos e outro ponto o solo amazônico tem muitas pedras preciosas por isso querem a nossa Amazônia. Não citaram os governos anteriores já passa a ser um vídeo partidário.
    Vocês não me enganam.
    Btw Brazil is doing great with Bolsonaro

  6. hi!
    i'm from brazil, and its just heartbreaking to see that this is actually happening here
    the president doesn't care, he's more worried with what the united states think of us, when the country is literally on fire
    on the beaches there's a lot of oil, so many animals have been killed and the president did nothing about it
    i still can't believe people could vote on him, he didn't even showed up during elections

  7. Call the police? Do you know how much land has been reserved for natives? Do you know some are bigger than states, others were marked on productive land for minerals underground? Better get facts straight. . .

  8. What a horror show. And it is all because of greed. Bolsonaro now equals the military dictatorship between 1964-85 or even worse. What I understand, less than 15% of Brazil's area was protected by FUNAI, almost a drip in the ocean. Meanwhile, the entire globe dearly wants to protect the Amazon jungle because of its superb ability to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen plus many other treats. And now Bolsonaro & Co. are devastating this unique reserve, for credits. Simply for credits == greed at its utmost and ugliest face.

    I will never again buy Brazilian meat or produce unless it is stamped Fairtrade or the similar that ensures the producers are treated fair, by respect and are well paid for their labor.

    I was hoping to visit Brazil soon, especially for its renowned karnevals, but that will not happen until something drastic happens to the commercial companies and the political system. Sorry, Bolsonaro, I think bazillions of people think the same way as I do. So, literally, you are shooting yourself in the foot!!!

  9. Hello! Im a brazilian and the situation it's not very good, but during the left wing government of Dilma the corruption and less protection of indigenous lands were increasing. But our situation is recovering. This situation is not exclusive for the bolsonaro government

  10. Im a brazilian and the situation is complicated. We the people demand more economic grouth, without giving the government another option to make economic grouth without attacking indigenous lands

  11. It is important to say that, since 2015, Brazil has been going through a huge economic crisis due to mismanagement, because of this, the government had to cut funds in several areas, but even with these problems, the new president's neglect of the environment is not justifiable!


  13. This is why the world is going down ,greed ,corruption love of money and power would be the destruction of the human race

  14. This is what happens when you trust government promises…they will never keep it. Indigenous people must fight for themselves and their property, and confront whomever might trespass on them. They can't rely of some bureaucratic agency that changes with whomever is in power. Big government is bad, no matter if it's on the right or the left. To think just voting someone else in will solve the problem is weak and shortsighted.

  15. The Police and The Army are the new Santa Claus…Shame on you Humans!!
    How can you look for extraterrestrials when you're killing the terrestrials?????????
    I wish they will bombard us ALL before they get to the atmosphere

  16. It's a shame these indigenous people didn't know they needed to make a border to protect themselves from others. Borders are useful and they are worth protecting.

  17. Tbh Who cares? This is brazilian soil, the go ernment can do as it please with these lands, these useless "indigenous" are Just anti social People Who do nothing to help the country grow. It's 2019 these cavemen should be long gone.

  18. Reminder that American consumerist lifestyle, which people from Vox surely enjoy, was made possible because White Americans conquered Indians in 19. century, which created a gigantic consumer market for american capitalism.

  19. Question for anyone who can answer, what language to native Brazilians speak? I'm guessing it isn't Portuguese….

  20. Those pictures of farm expansions… Starting to see why extinction rebellion exists.
    First species to have satellite images recording our own demise

  21. Some parts of this world should be hands off from the Earth. Like important Rainforests, deserts, oceans, etc. Brazils president is technically a murderer for taking my air away.

  22. They forgot the extreme corruption of the past parties is what caused the people of Brazil to vote for some one like Bolsonaro

  23. The fire that is consuming our forest right now, was initiated by the same group of farmers that want Indians out of their land so they can use it for agriculture.

  24. There is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation here on this video, seriously, there is a lot of it.
    For starters, the Brazilian government doesn’t incentivates illegal farmers that are currently the main cause of the destruction of the rainforests, what the government wants to do is a regulated and calmly observated expansion of law regulated farms, mines, etc on the rainforests, without taking much of its territory, as it would have terrible consequences for the environment, if this is done correctly, the rainforests won’t be damaged by any considerable amounts as their species won’t be closer to extinction and it’s natural cycles won’t be harmed, this can help not just the “so evil capitalistic economy” but will help the locals, indigenous or not (the northern regions of Brazil suffer from great poverty) to grow economically, socially, etc, in other words, this can INCLUDE more people in a better situation, differently than the many programs that past politics did that only KEPT people IN POVERTY so they could get THEIR ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL FAVOR
    About the indigenous reserves, it is still being very discussed what it will be done with them, and Bolsonaro wants to INCLUDE indigenous people to the Brazilian society, if possible without harming their own cultures.
    The usage of guns to farmers is ONLY to the protection of their farms, not GETTING MORE TERRITORY OR KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE like the majority of indigenous people around Brazil, if that happens, these farmers MUST and WILL be punished by the law, by fines and jail sentences.
    About the isolation of indigenous tribes, that is pretty mistaken too, many tribes have political connections with other countries.
    And the Amazon fire, yeah, there are NATURAL fires in the Amazon forest by a time of the year, their increase was because of many criminals such as the ILLEGAL FARMERS were trying to take advantage of some of these laws, again, misunderstood, these criminals, when caught are also punished by the law.
    And at last, Funai is actually EXTREMELY corrupted and actually doesn’t help indigenous people as it could.
    Sorry for my English, it is my second language, that is why I had to edit this comment

  25. Who lives under capitalism in each country is personally responsable for indigenous people genocide and Amazon deforastation and nobody cares

  26. Do people not understand this is one of those necessary evil situations. Because we have more people we have to have more food to feed them.

  27. I don't believe in actually working Communism, but the more educated I get, the more I realize the roots of this ideology: It's profit and money before people and our Mother, Earth. We over-consume in terms of food, objects and wealth, while somewhere people beg for things we throw away. We need a more connected and balanced society across the whole planet.

  28. This is exactly what happened to the native people of North America, Brazil learned from Americans to do the same thing.🦂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *