Brazil leader criticizes indigenous reserves

JACUNDA NATIONAL FOREST — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is criticizing his country’s indigenous protection policies, which he says are used by outside forces to limit Brazil’s economy and give excessive amounts of land to tribes.

Bolsonaro met Tuesday with governors of states in the Amazon region to discuss the fires in the region and listened to them complaining about indigenous reserves, saying they impede development.

Bolsonaro said that “many reserves are located strategically” and said “someone arranged this.”

He didn’t specify what outside forces might be involved.

The president said that indigenous peoples “don’t speak our language, but they have managed to get 14% of our national territory” and he added, “One of the intentions of this is to impair us.”

Bolsonaro has repeatedly pushed for opening more indigenous lands for agriculture and mining, saying it would benefit the people living there.

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