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Can Economic Pressure Curb Jair Bolsonaro’s Anti-Indigenous Agenda?

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

In a drive to put economic pressure on the Bolsonaro government, more than 340 international and Brazilian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) signed an open letter on June 17th calling for the European Union to immediately break off negotiations with Brazil over a ground-breaking trade deal, due to “worsening human rights and [the] environmental situation” in the Latin American country.

The letter states:

Since the inauguration of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in January 2019, we have witnessed increased human rights violations, attacks on minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBTQ and other traditional communities. Moreover, the administration continues to threaten the basic democratic functioning of civil society while instigating a fundamental assault on some of the world’s most precious and ecologically valuable regions.

The letter comes just days, perhaps hours, before the E.U. is expected to announce the completion of a long-awaited trade deal with Mercosur, South America’s trade bloc, which includes Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

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