Under Brazilian law, demarcation sets out clearly what land belongs to Indigenous peoples and provides them with secure collective legal rights over that land.
The government has also weakened the protection of Indigenous territories whose demarcation is pending.
Marcelo Xavier, appointed by President Bolsonaro to preside over FUNAI in July 2019, has removed experienced career public servants from leadership positions. He has asked the police to open criminal investigations against employees, Indigenous leaders, and even prosecutors for defending Indigenous rights; hampered efforts to protect Indigenous territories; and adopted policies that facilitated encroachment.
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