Majority of Brazilians Reject Mining in Indigenous Lands

Datafolha survey shows that 86% of country disagrees with President Jair Bolsonaro's plan to open mining in these areas


Brazilians widely disapprove of opening indigenous lands to mining, going against the wishes of President Jair Bolsonaro (PSL-RJ).

A Datafolha survey commissioned by the non-governmental organization Instituto Socioambiental found that 86% of Brazilians disagree with allowing mining companies into indigenous lands. Today this is illegal, but Bolsonaro intends to authorize it.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (Foto: Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress, PODER) - Folhapress

Datafolha conducted, from June 4 to 6, 2,088 interviews in 168 municipalities in all regions of the country. The error margin is plus or minus two percentage points, 95% confidence level.

According to Márcio Santilli, ISA's founding partner and president of FUNAI (National Indian Foundation) between 1995 and 1996, the research reveals "the unequivocal desire of Brazilians to preserve the lands, which Congress needs to consider in this discussion."

According to the survey, the rejection of mining is very high, at least 80% in all regions, education, ages, sexes, economic classifications, and occupations.

The Secretary of Geology and Mining of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Alexandre Vidigal, confirmed that the government is drafting a bill to allow mining on indigenous lands. It is estimated that the project will be ready by September when it will be sent to Congress.

Vidigal said the government does not hold detailed figures and surveys on the mining potential in indigenous lands. Sought, the Ministry of Environment did not speak.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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