Indigenous candidates run for Congress in Brazil’s general election

A total of 60 Indigenous candidates have been registered by electoral authorities in Brazil, campaigning for the two houses of Congress this year, and 31 of them are women.

Destruction of the Amazon rainforest, which plays a vital role in regulating the world’s oxygen cycles, has surged during current Brazilian President Bolsonaro’s term, rising to a fifteen year high.  

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The deforestation of the Amazon also destroys the habitat of close to 300 of Brazil’s Indigenous tribes.  

Bolsonaro’s policies have eliminated the demarcation of Indigenous territory and promoted mining and industrial farming on existing reservations.

Bolsonaro says indigenous people should take up the customs and economic activities of their fellow Brazilians.

“Our relationship with the land has saved the environment, the savannah, the Amazon, the Atlantic Forest, the Pampas and the Caatinga region,” said Celia Xakriaba, who is running for Congress from the state of Minas Gerais.

Congressional candidates, like Vanderlecia Ortega dos Santos from the Witoto Indigenous people,  Tereza Arapium, from the Arapium Indigenous people and Sonia Guajajara, head of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil join the record number of Indigenous citizens campaigning to make a difference politically for Brazil.

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