As Amazon fires rage, Bolsonaro wants more Indigenous land for business
In this Aug. 27, 2019 photo, members of the Kayapo indigenous group attend a meeting to discuss community issues in their village Bau, located on Kayapo indigenous territory in Altamira in Brazil’s Amazon. About 98% of all Brazil’s indigenous lands lie within the Amazon. “Just outside, our reserve is being heavily deforested. It’s being badly destroyed,” a Kayapo leader said. | Leo Correa/AP

ALTAMIRA, Brazil (AP) — As fires raged in parts of the Amazon, Mydje Kayapo sat in a small boat looking out over the Curua River in the Bau indigenous reserve. The smell of smoke filled the air, and Kayapo was worried.

“The fire is coming closer and closer to our reserve,” he told a visiting news team from The Associated Press. “Now it is about 20 kilometers (12 miles) away.”

Kayapo, one of the Bau people’s leaders, helps organize a village watch group to protect the community’s lands from encroaching flames as well as illegal loggers, miners, and others seeking to exploit the area. With fires spreading quickly to wide swaths of indigenous territories in recent weeks, his task has grown more critical.

In this Aug. 26, 2019 photo, the land smolders during a forest fire in Altamira in Brazil’s Amazon. The fire is very close to Kayapo indigenous land located on the Bau indigenous reserve. | Leo Correa/AP

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