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Published on 04/11/2016
Published on 11/19/2015
Minister of Justice Criticizes Natives and Says that "Land Does Not Keep People Fed"
03/10/2017 - 12h05
Osmar Serraglio, the new minister of Justice, who maintains close ties to agribusiness, said native peoples should cease discussions regarding land ownership since "land does not keep anyone fed".
"We're going to provide them with decent living standards. We're going to stop discussing land. Does land keep anyone fed?" the minister said in an interview with Folha. Serraglio took office on Tuesday (7).
Serraglio insinuated that NGOs active in the sector are embezzling public funds. "I"ve heard that several NGOs have been getting their hands on a lot of money, including public funds from the health sector".
When asked to substantiate the allegations, Serraglio referred to an ongoing investigation that is being carried out by a parliamentary committee currently compiling information.
He stated that he would not be choosing sides when it came to businessmen and natives, and spoke of applying the constitution to bring peace to rural areas that have been marred by conflicts.
Around 30% of Serraglio's campaign donations in 2014 were made by companies linked to rural business, among them companies in the poultry industry as well as a herbicide manufacturer.
He oversaw proceedings regarding a proposed constitutional amendment altering the demarcation system of native lands.
According to Cleber César Buzatto, executive secretary of the Cimi (Indigenous Missionary Council), Serraglio "only sides with agribusiness".
He also believes that Serraglio's talk of using the constitution is merely a strategy for big business to put an end to the demarcation of indigenous lands.
Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON