“If I am president of the Republic there will be no mining on indigenous lands. The natives are not intruders, they were here before the Portuguese arrived,” said the founder of the Workers’ Party (PT) in a live interview with Itatiaia radio station, in the state of Minas Gerais (southeast).
He indicated that we should not bother the native peoples, but “give them the right to live decently and with dignity. Perhaps it is more important for humanity to take care of the Amazon rainforest than to try to find a little bit of gold on indigenous lands,” he remarked.
The Chamber of Deputies approved the day before, by 279 votes in favor, 180 against and three abstentions, a request of urgency for the treatment of a bill that authorizes mining in native lands and modifies the Indigenous Statute.
The initiative is expected to be passed in mid-April.
In other matters, the former labor leader informed he should present his presidential candidacy at the beginning of April, after the negotiations to form a coalition of support for the October elections.