What Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, has said about Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples

Jair Bolsonaro has made many racist and offensive remarks about indigenous peoples in Brazil, over a long period of time. This is a selection.

Jair Bolsonaro, a far right, nationalist politician, took office as President of Brazil on 1 January 2019. 

The former army captain, he has made many racist and offensive remarks about indigenous peoples in Brazil, over a long period of time. This is a selection. 


On wiping out the “Indians”

“Too bad the Brazilian cavalry was not as efficient as the American, who exterminated the Indians” 

“It’s a shame que the Brazilian cavalry has not Been the efficient to the Americans, who exterminated the Indians. ” Courier Braziliense newspaper, April 12, 1998

Article from Courier Braziliense, April 1998, that includes Jair Bolsonaro's quote "It's shame that the Brazilian cavalry hasn't been as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated the Indians."

Article from Courier Braziliense, April 1998, which includes Jair Bolsonaro’s quote “It’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry hasn’t been efficient as the Americans, who exterminated the Indians.” 

Racist remarks

“The Indians do not speak our language, they have no money, they have no culture. They are native peoples. How can they get 13% of the national territory”

On indigenous people as an obstacle to mining & agribusiness

“There is no indigenous land where there are no minerals. Gold, tin and magnesium are in these lands, especially in the Amazon, the richest area in the world. I do not enter this bullshit to defend land for Indian ”

“[Indian reservations] stifle agribusiness. In Brazil you cannot reduce one square meter of indigenous land”


On the demarcation of indigenous territories

“I’ve had a fight with Jarbas Birdie in here. I fought in a homeland crime he committed by demarcating the Ianomami reserve. Criminal.


” There will not be one centimeter demarcated for indigenous reserve or maroon” 

“Not a centimeter will be demarcated either the an indigenous reserve or as a quilombo [territory for descendents of African slave communities].” 

“You can be sure that if I get there [elected President of Brazil] there will be no money for NGOs. If it’s up to me, every citizen will have a firearm in the house. There will be a centimeter demarcated for indigenous reservations or quilombolas. ”

“If I take over [the Presidency of Brazil] I will not have an inch more for indigenous land”

He later corrected himself, and said he meant “not one millimeter” in this interview with Globo News, August 3, 2018 (at 1:23:30)

“This unilateral policy of demarcating indigenous land by the Executive will cease to exist, the reserve that I can reduce its size I will do there. It’s a big fight that you will fight with the UN ”

__ “This one-sided policy of demarcating indigenous land by the Executive will cease to exist. Any book that I can reduce in size, I will do so. It will be a very big fight that we are going to have with the UN” __


On abolishing existing indigenous territories

“In 2019 we will clear [the indigenous reserve] Raposa Serra do Sol. We will give rifle and weapons to all farmers”

On forcibly integrating indigenous people

“Let’s integrate them into society. Because the Army does a wonderful job of it, incorporating Indians, that’s right, into the Armed Forces. ” 


On dismantling FUNAI (Brazil’s department for indigenous affairs)


“ If I’m elected, I’ll serve a blow to FUNAI ; a blow to the neck. There’s no other way. It’s not useful anymore ”

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