Brazil’s mining authority is actively entertaining more than 3,000 requests to mine on Indigenous lands in the Amazon, despite such activity being prohibited under the country’s Constitution, an investigation by the InfoAmazonia project has found. The “Mined Amazon” investigation uncovered dozens of applications being filed with the National Mining Agency (ANM) every year, with the agency keeping them on file and not rejecting them immediately as it is obliged to do. Even the economic slowdown prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t stemmed the tide of mining requests. More than 38,000 Indigenous people have been infected since the start of the health emergency, with 867 dead, according to the Articulation of Brazilian Indigenous Peoples (APIB). Yet throughout 2020, 145 mining applications have been recorded — the highest number in 24 years. The lands of the Kayapó people in the state of Pará are the most affected, targeted by more than a third of applications this year. Interest in mining on Indigenous territories has grown under the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro. In the two years before he took office at the start of 2019, the number of such mining requests averaged 50 per year; since then, the annual average has spiked to 117. Bolsonaro, a former military officer, has not only encouraged this unconstitutional form of mining, but has been explicitly disparaging of Brazil’s Indigenous peoples in general, saying this past January that “Indians are increasingly becoming human beings just like us.” Those remarks prompted Indigenous leaders to formally denounce the…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer