Brazil’s President-Elect Jair Bolsonaro said Monday (Dec. 17) that the indigenous territory Raposa Serra do Sol, in the northern Roraima state, may be explored and that indigenous tribes could receive royalties for that. The area should be explored “in a rational manner,” said the future president.
“It’s the richest area in the world. You can explore it rationally. And on the Indian’s side, giving royalties and integrating Indians with society,” he said, in referenced to the indigenous reserve.
Raposa Serra do Sol was identified by Brazil’s national indigenous foundation Funai in the 1990’s, demarcated by then President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1995–2003) and recognized in 2005 by his successor Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that the whole territory should be occupied by indigenous people, which makes agricultural exploration in the region illegal.
In 2017, the Office of the Attorney-General (AGU) announced that all federal agencies should abide by the Supreme Court understanding in all subsequent indigenous land demarcation cases.