BRAZIL: Yanomami protest mining bill

In June 26, the representatives of the Yanomami and other indigenous peoples held protests at the National Congress in Brasilia against Draft Law 1610, which allows mining activity in their territories. The bill was approved by the Senate in 1998 and is now under discussion at the Commission for the Defence of the Consumer, Environment and Minorities. Many and diverse organizations, such as the Instituto Socio Ambiental, the Instituto de Estudios Socio-Económicos, the Comissao Pro-Yanomami, the Centro de Trabalho Indigenista and Amigos da Terra-Amazonia Brazileira, have also raised their concerns to the Brazilianauthorities, stating that the bill will result in thousands of requests for authorization of mining exploration without appropriate safeguards in place to evaluate and monitor them. Protesters claimed that indigenous communities would be denied free access to the resources on their lands under the arrangement, and that there are no predicted limits to the area open for exploration.