This content is not available in your region

Brazil indigenous affairs official fired amid push to develop reservation land

Access to the comments Comments
Brazil indigenous affairs official fired amid push to develop reservation land
FILE PHOTO: President of the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) Franklimberg Ribeiro de Freitas gestures during a meeting with members of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau tribe in Tarilandia, Rondonia state, Brazil January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino/File Photo   -   Copyright  UESLEI MARCELINO(Reuters)
Text size Aa Aa

By Lisandra Paraguassu

BRASILIA (Reuters) – The head of Brazil’s indigenous affairs agency said on Tuesday he was fired due to pressure from the agriculture ministry which under President Jair Bolsonaro is seeking to open reservation lands to commercial agriculture and mining.

Franklimberg Ribeiro de Freitas, head of the National Indigenous Affairs agency Funai, was removed from the post by the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights, which oversees Funai, the ministry confirmed.

In remarks to agency employees, Freitas blamed Luiz Antonio Nabhan Garcia, secretary of land affairs in the Ministry of Agriculture, for his dismissal. Freitas said Bolsonaro was “very poorly advised.”

In May, the lower house of Congress rebuffed Bolsonaro’s move to put decisions on indigenous land claims in the hands of the Ministry of Agriculture and kept them with Funai.

The right-wing president alarmed anthropologists and environmentalists by planning to assimilate Brazil’s 800,000 indigenous people and open reservation lands to commercial development, even in the Amazon rainforest.

Azelene Inácio, a former director at Funai, is a potential replacement for Freitas at Funai.

(Writing by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

euronews provides breaking news articles from reuters as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. Articles appear on for a limited time.