Brazil to deploy police to protect Yanomami from miners ( – June 14, 2021)

Brazil said Monday it would deploy a special security force to protect the Yanomami indigenous reservation, whose residents have clashed recently with illegal miners encroaching on native lands in the Amazon rainforest.

The measure comes after Brazil’s Supreme Court last month ordered far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s government to adopt “necessary measures” to protect the Yanomami and Mundurucu peoples’ reservations from wildcat gold miners.

Justice Minister Anderson Torres gave a federal force of police and firefighters a 90-day renewable mandate to “preserve the public order” on Yanomami lands.

The government did not say how big the force would be. The Yanomami reservation, Brazil’s biggest, spans 96,000 square kilometers (37,000 square miles) in the northern states of Amazonas and Roraima. It is home to around 27,000 people.

Thousands of miners, often linked to organized crime, have invaded the reservation in recent years, sometimes resulting in violence.

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