Majority of Brazilians Support Protecting Forests where Isolated Indigenous People Live

Datafolha survey shows that population approves of consulting indigenous peoples for approval of construction projects

Phillippe Watanabe
São Paulo

A Datafolha survey, commissioned by Instituto Socioambiental, shows that 93% of Brazilians favor public policies that reinforce forest protection to ensure the survival of isolated Indians. The survey was conducted between June 4 and 6 this year in 168 municipalities across the country. The margin of error is plus or minus two percentage points.

According to the National Indian Foundation, there are about 114 records of isolated Indians in the Legal Amazon.

Kurobo ethnic group - Bruno Jorge/Funai

In his speech at the 74th UN General Assembly, however, Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) said 70 tribes are living in isolated places. The report asked Planalto for clarification but received no response until the text was published.

The president also said that "people from inside and outside Brazil, supported by NGOs, insist on treating and keeping our Indians as true cavemen."

The theme has appeared frequently in his speeches since the presidential campaign. Bolsonaro has stated more than once that he will not demarcate new indigenous lands and argues that protected areas should be mined— an idea rejected by most Brazilians.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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