Brazil’s Bolsonaro pushes for more mining on Indigenous lands (Al Jazeera – March 9, 2022)

Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has pushed for a law that would allow mining on Indigenous reservations, seizing on global fertiliser shortages caused by the Ukraine war.

The speaker’s office said the government’s chief whip in the lower house of Congress had gathered enough signatures on Tuesday to fast-track the bill, which means that it could be put to a full vote without committee hearings.

“This crisis between Ukraine and Russia is a good opportunity for us,” Bolsonaro said on Monday in a radio interview. “We have a bill in Congress that will allow us to exploit those Indigenous lands.”

Brazil is one of the world’s top food producers and the largest importer of potash, powder that is obtained from the ashes of burned wood and sometimes used as fertiliser. The country relies on imports for 85 percent of the fertiliser used for its grain crops. And a quarter of Brazil’s demand for potash has usually been met by Russia, which halted exports.

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