Indigenous protest camp erected in Brazilian capital to press land rights

BRASILIA, April 4 (Reuters) – Hundreds of indigenous people began gathering in the Brazilian capital on Monday for a 10-day protest camp to defend their land rights and oppose a government bill in Congress that would allow mining and oil exploration on their reservations.

Organizers are hoping to gather 7,000 people from 200 of Brazil’s 305 tribes to press Congress not to pass legislation proposed by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro that would open their protected lands to commercial mining and agriculture.

“We will not retreat,” said Sonia Guajajara, head of the country’s main indigenous umbrella organization, the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples (APIB) that represents most of Brazil’s 900,000 indigenous people.

Warriors in feathered headdresses with their bodies painted with the black and red dyes of Amazon fruit seeds danced chanting ritual songs as they put up tents on the grassy esplanade next to government ministries in central Brasilia

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