Brazil’s president returns 800 square miles of Indigenous land to its original caretakers

By Lyric Aquino
May 3, 2023

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva legally recognized nearly 800 square miles of Indigenous lands on April 28 in an effort to stop illegal logging, mining and land grabbing, reversing policies enacted by his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right leader who encouraged development in the Amazon. Those policies spurred a frenzy of activity, including illegal gold mining and clandestine farming in Indigenous territories, devastating the environment and fueling violence.

“We are going to legalize Indigenous lands,” Lula said in a speech. “I don't want any Indigenous territory to be left without demarcation during my government.”

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