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Future Administration Questions Indigenous Isolation Policy in Brazil

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The future minister of Women, Family, and Human Rights in the government of Jair Bolsonaro, Mrs. Damares Alves, questioned on Friday, Dec. 7th whether the policy of isolation is the best to the indigenous peoples.

Evangelical pastor and lawyer, Mrs. Alves was announced on Thursday as future minister of Bolsonaro. She will have the National Indian Foundation (Funai) in her ministry. Currently, the body is linked to the Ministry of Justice.

Damares spoke quickly this Friday with journalists at the Banco do Brasil Cultural Center (CCBB), where the new government’s transition team works.

Asked about the position of Bolsonaro, who criticizes the isolation of indigenous peoples, Damares said he also questions this policy.

We, both he and I, have questioned the politics of isolation. We can already see if this really is the best for the Indian, the politics of isolation, Damares said.
Last week, Bolsonaro said keeping Indians in demarcated reserves is treating them as animals in zoos.

Now, you see, in Bolivia, we have an Indian who is president (Evo Morales). Why in Brazil we have to keep them prisoners in reserves as if they were animals in zoos? Asked the president-elect at the time.

Ms. Alves was asked about what would change to review the issue of the isolation of Indians. The future minister defended a gradual work to insert the indigenous peoples in the society.

It would gradually begin to enter these peoples, without any aggression to their culture, respecting the specifics, respecting even those isolated peoples, he explained.

Damares further stated that his position would not change wholly in the Indian reservation policy. Bolsonaro is critical of the matter and said during the campaign that if elected, it would not make new demarcations.

Mrs. Alves also commented that among the plans for Funai is to take care of the Indian as a whole.

Bringing the indigenous woman to the leading role, caring for the disabled Indian, we still have people who eliminate children with disabilities, then take care of the Indian as a whole, she said.