Jair Bolsonaro, a far right, nationalist politician, took office as President of Brazil on 1 January 2019.

A former army captain, he has made many racist and offensive remarks about indigenous peoples in Brazil, over a long period of time. This is a selection.


On wiping out the “Indians”

“Pena que a cavalaria brasileira não tenha sido tão eficiente quanto a americana, que exterminou os índios”

“It’s a shame that the Brazilian cavalry hasn’t been as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated the Indians.” Correio Braziliense newspaper, April 12, 1998

Article from Correio Braziliense, April 1998, that includes Jair Bolsonaro's quote "It's a shame that the Brazilian cavalry hasn't been as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated the Indians."
Article from Correio Braziliense, April 1998, that includes Jair Bolsonaro's quote "It's a shame that the Brazilian cavalry hasn't been as efficient as the Americans, who exterminated the Indians."
© Survival



Racist remarks

“Os índios não falam nossa língua, não têm dinheiro, não têm cultura. São povos nativos. Como eles conseguem ter 13% do território nacional”

“The Indians do not speak our language, they do not have money, they do not have culture. They are native peoples. How did they manage to get 13% of the national territory”

Campo Grande News, April 22, 2015



On indigenous people as an obstacle to mining & agribusiness

“Não tem terra indígena onde não têm minerais. Ouro, estanho e magnésio estão nessas terras, especialmente na Amazônia, a área mais rica do mundo. Não entro nessa balela de defender terra pra índio”

“There is no indigenous territory where there aren’t minerals. Gold, tin and magnesium are in these lands, especially in the Amazon, the richest area in the world. I’m not getting into this nonsense of defending land for Indians”

Campo Grande News, April 22, 2015

“[reservas indigenas] sufocam o agronegócio. No Brasil não se consegue diminuir um metro quadrado de terra indígena”

“[indigenous reserves] are an obstacle to agri-business. You can’t reduce indigenous land by even a square meter in Brazil”

Campo Grande News, April 22, 2015


On the demarcation of indigenous territories

“Eu já briguei com o Jarbas Passarinho aqui dentro. Briguei em um crime de lesa-Pátria que ele cometeu ao demarcar a reserva Ianomâmi. Criminoso.”

“I fought with Jarbas Passarinho [former minister of Justice] right here. I fought with him about the high treason he committed in demarcating the Yanomami reserve. Criminal.”

Interview with Marcelo Godoy, Estado de São Paulo, April 2, 2017


“Não vai ter um centímetro demarcado para reserva indígena ou para quilombola”

“Not a centimeter will be demarcated either as an indigenous reserve or as a quilombola [territory for descendents of African slave communities].”

Hebrew Club, Rio de Janeiro April 3, 2017

“Pode ter certeza que se eu chegar lá (Presidência da República) não vai ter dinheiro pra ONG. Se depender de mim, todo cidadão vai ter uma arma de fogo dentro de casa. Não vai ter um centímetro demarcado para reserva indígena ou para quilombola.”

“You can be sure that if I get there [elected President of Brazil] there will be no money for NGOs. If it’s up to me, every citizen will have a firearm in the house. There will not be a centimeter demarcated for indigenous reservations or quilombolas.”

Estadão, April 3, 2017

“Se eu assumir [a Presidência do Brasil] não terá mais um centímetro para terra indígena”

“If I become President there will not be a centimeter more of indigenous land.”

Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, February 8, 2018

He later corrected himself, and said he meant “not one millimeter” in this interview with Globo News, August 3, 2018 (at 01:23:30)

“essa política unilateral de demarcar a terra indígena por parte do Executivo vai deixar de existir, a reserva que eu puder diminuir o tamanho dela eu farei isso aí. É uma briga muito grande que você vai brigar com a ONU”

__"This unilateral policy of demarcating indigenous land by the Executive will cease to exist. Any reserve that I can reduce in size, I will do so. It will be a very big fight that we’re going to have with the UN" __

Video by Correio do Estado, June 10, 2016


On abolishing existing indigenous territories

“Em 2019 vamos desmarcar [a reserva indígena] Raposa Serra do Sol. Vamos dar fuzil e armas a todos os fazendeiros”

“In 2019 we’re going to rip up Raposa Serra do Sol [Indigenous Territory in Roraima, northern Brazil]. We’re going to give all the ranchers guns”

In Congress, posted on January 21, 2016


On forcibly integrating indigenous people

“Vamos integrá-los à sociedade. Como o Exército faz um trabalho maravilhoso tocante a isso, incorporando índios, tá certo, às Forças Armadas”

“We are going to integrate them into society. Just like the army which did a great job of this, incorporating the Indians into the armed forces.”

Globo News, August 3, 2018 (at 1:25:33)


On dismantling FUNAI (Brazil’s department for indigenous affairs)

“Se eleito eu vou dar uma foiçada na FUNAI, mas uma foiçada no pescoço. Não tem outro caminho. Não serve mais.”

“If I’m elected, I’ll serve a blow to FUNAI; a blow to the neck. There’s no other way. It’s not useful anymore”

Espírito Santo August 1, 2018 quoted on Indigenistas Associados web

Survival Statement following the election of Jair Bolsonaro
Survival Statement following the election of Jair Bolsonaro
© Survival