Brazil’s indigenous stage protests to demand lands

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Indigenous people in Brazil have begun a weeklong campaign to demand the demarcation of their territories.

Protesters marched, set up camps and blocked highways in cities across Brazil as the mobilization launched Tuesday.

In the capital of Brasilia, 500 people set up camp in front of Congress to oppose a constitutional change that would let lawmakers participate in the demarcation of territories. Indigenous people and their supporters say the proposal would allow agricultural interests to encroach on their lands.

A study by a group linked to the Roman Catholic Church has said violence against the indigenous rose in 2012, with 54 Indians killed – most of them over land disputes.

More than 600 demarcation plans are pending. Only seven indigenous territories were created last year, the Missionary Indigenous Council says.

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