Brazil OKs national guard to Indigenous area after attacks

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil’s government on Monday authorized the dispatch of national guard troops to its largest Indigenous territory in the Amazon following attacks by illegal miners on the Yanomami people.

The Justice Ministry authorized the deployment, which was published Monday in the nation’s official gazette. The number of national guard troops – comprised of military and civil police, firefighters, and forensic specialists – hasn’t yet been determined, and they will be based out of Roraima state’s capital Boa Vista for at least 90 days, according to the ministry’s press office.

According to Roraima’s public prosecutors’ office, about 20,000 miners are currently within the Yanomami territory.

Clashes in the Indigenous land have intensified since April, when Yanomami men took fuel and equipment from miners they accuse of invading their land. Last month, the Supreme Court ordered the government to immediately adopt “all necessary measures to protect the life, health, and safety of the indigenous populations” of the Yanomami and Munduruku territories in the state of Pará, which miners have also targeted.

Separately, Brazil’s government plans to send soldiers from the armed forces to the Amazon in an attempt to halt the growing deforestation, just two months after withdrawing troops, Vice President Hamilton Mourão told reporters on Friday.

He said Bolsonaro will sign the decree authorizing the two-month operation this week.

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