Brazil

Brazil’s Indigenous Push for Amazon Land Rights as Carnival Kicks Off

Sonia Guajajara (L), coordinator of the Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, and other indigenous leaders participate in the press conference given by the Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school, whose theme this year pays homage to the native people of Brazil's Amazon region, ahead of the carnival parade at Cidade do Samba in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Feb. 24, 2017.
Sonia Guajajara (L), coordinator of the Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, and other indigenous leaders participate in the press conference given by the Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school, whose theme this year pays homage to the native people of Brazil’s Amazon region, ahead of the carnival parade at Cidade do Samba in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Feb. 24, 2017.

RIO DE JANEIRO —

Brazilian indigenous leaders left the Amazon rainforest for Rio de Janeiro to push for land rights on Friday, the opening day of the city’s famous Carnival, as critics accused campaigners of politicizing one of the world’s biggest parties.

Artists from the Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school, one of Rio’s traditional dance academies, invited indigenous leaders to Rio because their theme for this year’s float parade is “Xingu: The Clamor that Comes from the Forest.”

A worker from the Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school prepares part of a carnival float at the school's carnival production headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Feb. 9, 2017.
A worker from the Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school prepares part of a carnival float at the school’s carnival production headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Feb. 9, 2017.

Deep in the Amazon, indigenous activists say the Xingu region of lush foliage and flowing rivers is threatened by proposed dams, agricultural plantations and infrastructure projects. Those themes are showcased in the school’s floats, costumes and elaborate dance…

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