Brazilian Indians Sitting on World’s Largest Diamond Mine

    The Brazilian government has just issued a Temporary Measure (Medida Provisória) (MP) which will allow a group of Indians 15 days to sell diamonds which have been mined on their lands.

    Basically, the government is creating an amnesty – diamond mining on Indian reservations is illegal in Brazil so the diamonds are really not supposed to exist.


    The MP is thus an attempt at a quick fix for a tense, complicated situation which has frequently spiralled into violence between the Indians and diamond prospectors in the past.


    The group of Indians in question, known as the Cinta Larga, live in the Roosevelt Reservation located in northwestern Brazil and seem to be sitting on top of the world’s biggest diamond reserves.


    It is estimated that there could be as much as 15 times more diamonds in the Roosevelt Reservation than there are in the world’s biggest known diamond mine, which is located in Africa.


    Diamond mining in the Roosevelt Reservation could be worth as much as US$ 3.5 billion annually.


    The Indians who live there are known as Wide Belt (Cinta Larga) because they usually wear a kind of wide belt made from the bark of a tree around their waist.


    Their first contact with white men, who were Indian Foundation (Funai) frontiersmen, occurred in the 1960s. At that time it was estimated that the Cinta Largas numbered around 5,000. Today they number 1,300. The reservation they occupy covers 2.7 million hectares – more or less the size of Belguim.


    Diamond prospectors have worked (always illegally) in the reservation for decades. But the area is far away, remote and very difficult to reach, so the prospectors have worried little about the long arm of the white man’s law (which is very short in this case, anyway).


    But they don’t worry about the Indians at their own risk. The Cinta Larga have risen up and attacked prospectors many times over the years. The most recent occurrence was the massacre of 29 miners in April of this year that shocked the nation and spurred the government to take action.


    Today’s MP is part of that action. The measure does not legalize mining, but sends a strong signal of government interest in finding a solution for the problem (legalizing mining in Indian reservations would require a constitutional amendment).


    Cinta Larga Indians are already reportedly turning in raw diamonds in their possession to government authorities.


    Pursuant to the terms of the MP, revenue from the sale of the diamonds will revert back to the Indians. Funai also reports that mining equipment is being removed from inside the reservation.


    However, the president of Funai, Mercio Pereira, warns that there is a downside to this because legalized mining on the Indian lands could cause social, cultural and even political problems.


    He points out that the Indians could be overwhelmed by a sudden influx of money. Pereira says the problem has to be studied carefully by Funai, anthropologists and the Indians themselves.


    Agência Brasil
    Translator: Allen Bennett

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (8)

    • Daniel Sinovetz

      Aviacao privada

      Fui com muita satisfaÀƒ§Àƒ£o que apresentamos-lhe a Halcyonjets, uma organizaÀƒ§Àƒ£o que fez o seu nome devido a uma combinaÀƒ§Àƒ£o de fatores chaves imaginando o melhor para nossos clientes. Como tal, aconselhamos que visite nosso website http://www.halcyonjets.com que Àƒ© objetivo e compreensivo no seu melhor estilo.

      A nossa companhia surgiu de uma idÀƒ©ia original proveniente de um grupo de elite, especialistas e pioneiros na indÀƒºstria privada de serviÀƒ§os de aviaÀƒ§Àƒ£o executiva. Somos uma equipe de sonhos de indÀƒºstrias, associando-se a experiÀƒªncia de cumprir uma visÀƒ£o compartilhada de que um lÀƒ­der verdadeiro nesta indÀƒºstria. DedicadaÀƒ§Àƒ£o alinhada a uma experiÀƒªncia de transporte de jatos executives, objetivamos a seguranÀƒ§a superior, cuidado excepcional com os clientes.

      A Halcyonjets oferece uma gama de aeronaves ÀƒÂ  disposiÀƒ§Àƒ£o dos clients, acesso mundial de diversos tamanhos e modelos de aeronaves da indÀƒºstria mais flexÀƒ­vel, arranjos centralizados ao cliente. Cotando com mais de 9.000 aeronaves no Àƒ¢mbito nacional e 1.500 internacionalmenteÀ¢€¦com preparaÀƒ§Àƒ£o logÀƒ­stica de todas as etapas necessÀƒ¡rias para a realizaÀƒ§Àƒ£o do vÀƒ´o confirmadas em menos de quatro horas.

      AlÀƒ©m do mais, chamamos sua atenÀƒ§Àƒ£o ao fato que providenciamos equipamentos de acordo com a exigÀƒªncia dos clientes, nÀƒ£o havendo custos iniciais, taxas mensais de manutenÀƒ§Àƒ£o, e nenhum compromisso a longo prazo! A uniÀƒ£o dos parceiros faz com que tenhamos uma dinÀƒ¢mica, diversificada e enorme oferta de aeronaves distribuÀƒ­da mundialmente, nos tornando mais competitivos e mais eficientes;

      Queremos aproveitar o ensejo para expressar o nosso desejo sincero de prestar-lhe os melhores serviÀƒ§os possÀƒ­veis, e na esperanÀƒ§a que vocÀƒª nÀƒ£o hesitarÀƒ¡ contatar nos sempre que a oportunidade surgir.

      Atenciosamente,
      Favor ligar (linha direta) 954.274-6789 (24 horas)
      With my best personal regards,
      Daniel Sinovetz
      Private Aviation Specialist

      Halcyon Jets, Inc.
      2424 N. Federal Hwy. 4th Floor
      Boca Raton, FL 33431
      561.962.0122(Direct)
      954.274.6789(Cell)
      561.962.0111(Fax)
      dsinovetz@halcyonjets.com
      http://www.halcyonjets.com
      Boca Raton – New York City – Beverly Hills À¢€“ London

      À¯ÂÂPlease consider the environment

    • Katy

      Who would limit these people?
      If the choice were given to the Cinta Larga, they could decide whether they wanted to risk which things in their own culture. Perhaps the question of impact is being viewed more from the outside (perhaps at-odds) individuals as a ruling authority, rather than the people who should be making their own choices regarding their own culture, lands and such.

    • Rajkumar lodhi

      to apply indian culture
      dear sir /madom
      what is your country dimand to indian culture (bundeli music)

    • poker

      where i can buy those raw diamonds from that teritory

    • tony

      my e-mail: cabel@bgnet.bg – i am interested in those diamonds

    • tony

      buying diamonds
      where i can buy those raw diamonds from that teritory

    • nino spinelli

      Ironic
      I never stop marveling on the perfection of the poetic -irony that the god’s posses in the affairs of man. Here is a tribe that has no use or interest fo diamonds in there culture, yet they have more of them than anyone in the world! I hope the money does not make them lose their culture.My Sicilian Aunt Lucy alway said “God gives bread to the toothless”. The lesson is clear, living things , like people, are the ONLY valuable things! I miss my Aunt Lucy, and Im glad I left a high-paying job to spend time with her when she was ill. The gems she gave me are priceless!

    • Guest

      yes

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    Brazil Has 96.6 Million Cell Phones, 80% of Which Are Prepaid

    There are 96.6 million celular phones in operation in Brazil. The figure was disclosed ...

    Vitor Meira

    Brazilians Meira and Castroneves Shine at Dramatic Indy 500

    Seven Brazilians had qualified for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, three in the first ...

    Brazilian software

    Brazil Promises to Boost Software Sales by 500%. Some Are Skeptical

    Brazil's software sector should rise its exports from US$ 100 million to US$ 500 ...

    Brazil: Amazon Thriller

    The boy grabbed the chicken by its wings with one hand, and with the ...

    Higher Prices and Russia Give Brazilian Beef Exports a 15.5% Boost

    Brazilian cattle beef exports totaled US$ 2 billion from January to July this year, ...

    Brazil’s Vice-President Undergoes Angioplasty. All Is Well.

    Brazil’s Vice-President of the Republic and Minister of Defense, José Alencar, underwent a heart stint ...

    Petrobras's oil rig

    God Is Brazilian, But Oil Rigs in Brazil Are Not Doing Their Job

    Just one day after Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that "God ...

    Lula Checkmates Bush

    Even the most orthodox international lending institutions have been checkmated by President-elect Luiz Inácio ...

    MST

    Brazilian Executive and Judiciary Dispute over Landless Killings

    The Chief of Cabinet of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, said the Brazilian government will continue ...