Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Bolsonaro's First Decision

The first action Jair Bolsonaro took after becoming president was to strip the National Indian Foundation, FUNAI, the government agency tasked with assisting the Brazilian indigenous population. Its past is checkered but a minimum it servesd as some sort of break on, among other things, the encroachment on indigenous land. This decision shifts its key responsibilities to the Ministry of Agriculture, which is now under the control of those same encroachers. Some of the other duties will be shifted to the new "family values" ministry, led by a hardcore religious conservative.

Attacking indigenous rights was in fact a campaign promise and Brazilians voted for him anyway, so this is not a surprise. Moreover, it is a signal that Bolsonaro will be looking to fulfill those promises and some of them are truly violent and disturbing.


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