Police use tear gas and rubber bullets at indigenous protest in Brazil

Brasília, 25/04/2016 Passeata da Manifestação Nacional Indígena, chega ao congresso nacional e é recebida com bombas de gás lacrimogêneo pela polícia. © Midia Ninja / MNI

Posted by Mobilização Nacional Indígena on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mobilização Nacional Indígena on Facebook: Protest at Brazil's Congress

An indigenous protest in Brazil's capital city turned violent on Tuesday, according to news reports.

An estimated 2,000 to 3,000 people took part in the protest near the Congressional building in Brasilia. They were opposing legislation that would give lawmakers -- instead of the president -- the power to set aside reservations for tribes.

When participants came closer to the building, police opened fire with rubber bullets and used tear gas, according to the reports. Officials claimed the indigenous protesters were trying to "invade" Congress, the Associated Press reported.

Tribal land designations are often ignored by illegal loggers, ranchers and farmers. Clashes in the Amazon region of Brazil often become deadly -- activists carried 200 coffins as part of the protest to symbolize the indigenous people who have been killed for trying to protect their homes.

Read More on the Story:
Indigenous protest over land rights turns violent on front steps of Brazil Congress (The Sydney Morning Herald 4/26)
Brazil indigenous groups clash with police in Brasilia (BBC 4/26)
Brazil Police Attack Indigenous Activists Protesting Congress (teleSUR 4/25)
Police, indigenous in Brazil clash with tear gas and spears (AP 4/25)
Brazil Indigenous Protest Over Land Rights Turns Violent (Reuters 4/25)