SALSA 2019 Debate

Indigenous rights reversalsDebate
SALSA XII Sesquiannual Conference 2019

Policy Setbacks and Rights Reversals faced by Indigenous Brazilians under Bolsonaro and how to Fight Back

WMW Forum (Friday 28 June 2019, 18:50-20:20)

Organizers and Chairs

Clarice Cohn, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil
William H. Fisher, College of William and Mary, USA

Right wing president Bolsonaro came to office vowing that during his term “not one centimeter of land will be demarcated for indigenous reserves or quilombolas.” Promising to squelch the aspirations of ethnic and racial minorities, he incites his supporters, “Let’s make Brazil for the majorities. Minorities have to bow to the majorities. Minorities will fit in or just disappear.”

In line with this vision, he has opened up existing indigenous lands to extractive investment and heavily promoted agribusiness interests. Unsurprisingly, deforestation rates have begun to skyrocket, while environmental protections have been massively rolled back. For Brazilian Indians, Bolsonaro’s assumption to power represents nothing less than a political emergency. This Portuguese- and English-language session brings together prominent Brazilian indigenous activists and anthropologists to discuss the threat posed by Bolsonaro’s policies. It aims to promote awareness about the current critical moment and to discuss strategies for resistance and the role the SALSA community and other anthropologists might play.


Clarice Cohn Public Issues and Action Committee, SALSA & Universidade Federal de São Carlos
Manuela Carneiro da Cunha University of São Paulo
Joziléia Daniza Jagso Kaingang Coordenadora Pedagógica da Licenciatura Intercultural Indígena do Sul da Mata Atlântica/Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
Luiz Eloy Terena Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil – APIB / Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB)
Stephen Grant Baines Comissão de Assuntos Indígenas da Associação Brasileira de Antropologia & Universidade de Brasília

–Carlos D. Londoño Sulkin (SALSA President 2017-2020), Jeremy M. Campbell (SALSA President-Elect 2020-2023), Laura Zanotti (Secretary-Treasurer 2017-2020), Claudia Augustat (SALSA 2019 Conference Organizer), Juan Alvaro Echeverri (SALSA 2019 Academic Program Chair), Glenn Shepard (SALSA Webmaster).