Brazil’s Indigenous Leaders Sue President Jair Bolsonaro For Crimes Against Humanity
Two of Brazil’s most influential and well-known Indigenous leaders filed an international legal challenge this week against the country’s leader, alleging that far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies toward Indigenous tribes and the Amazon rainforest constitute crimes against humanity.
Chief Raoni Metuktire, the leader of the Kayapo people, and Chief Almir Narayamoga Surui, leader of the Paiter Surui tribe, filed the claim at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, on Friday.
The suit points to rising levels of deforestation in the Amazon, increased killings of Brazilian Indigenous leaders, and the Bolsonaro government’s efforts to strip protections from the rainforest and tribal lands, policies the Indigenous leaders say aim to “exploit the natural resources of the Amazon and undermine the rights of indigenous peoples in order to promote industry.”
Jair Bolsonaro could face charges in The Hague over Amazon rainforest
Jair Bolsonaro could face charges in the international criminal court (ICC) after being accused of crimes against humanity.
Indigenous leaders in Brazil and human rights groups are urging the court to investigate the Brazilian president over his dismantling of environmental policies and violations of indigenous rights, which they say amount to ecocide.
William Bourdon, a Paris-based lawyer, submitted a request for a preliminary examination to the tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, on Friday. The chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, will then determine whether there are grounds for an investigation against Bolsonaro.
There is no deadline for a decision but “it is a matter of great urgency”, Bourdon said. “We are running against the clock, considering the devastation of the Amazon.”