Garimpeiro who invaded Yanomami land in the 1980s is the leader of two lobbyists in favor of exploration in an indigenous area | News

A life of the gaúcho Elton Rohnelt, 80 years old, explains a lot about Brazil do Governo Jair Bolsonaro. With a long history of business and political activity in the Amazon, he was a protagonist and defender of mining exploration on indigenous lands long before Bolsonaro became a public man. Rohnelt was the director of Madeira, dono de garimpo, one of two leaders of the garimpeira invasion on Yanomami lands in the 1980s, and federal deputy for Roraima from 1995 to 2003. occupied various public offices in Roraima, was vice-leader of the government Fernando Henrique Cardoso and direct advisor to Michel Temer. Hoje, Rohnelt acts as president emeritus of the Câmara de Gestão e Estudos Superiores do Instituto do Desenvolvimento da Mineração (IDM Brasil) ― an organization responsible for all technical advice and dialogue with the mineral sector for the Parliamentary Front of Mining in Brasília.

In times of environmental preservation, Rohnelt defends the interests of those who intend to explore mining and minimizes, for example, the invasion of garimpeiros from the Madeira River, whose images collided with the world last week. According to the entrepreneur, the conflicts have to be resolved by the Brazilian State. “O garimpeiro is not outside the law, who is outside the law is the Brazilian State that does not legislate, deixa or expensive outside the law to raise a lot.” In Rohnelt’s vision, who discovered our world in the United States or Canada “turned hero”, and the help of the Government. “No interest in being an indigenous area. Onde for, o Governo vai ajudar. Here not in Brazil, we prefer that everything goes for contraband”, he says.

There are two major defenders of Bill 191, sent to the Congress by its own Government, with the intention of freeing mining, agro-business and other activities on indigenous land. “O subsolo não é do índio, é da União, do Governo brasileiro. Soon, it’s over, the Brazilian government is interested in not subsing alone, or the Indian can’t do anything. Or the Government can do what we must understand”, says Rohnelt, in a telephone interview. For him, Bolsonaro is “skating” and is trapped by “servants who are inside the government and are against the country, infiltrated people from the left”, including Ibama and Funai, who sabotage federal management, in his opinion.

Or Rohnelt’s dream of exploring the Amazon for a long time. In his time as a deputy, Rohnelt was rapporteur of the Law Project. 1610 of 1996, by former senator Romero Jucá, or first to deal with mineral exploration on indigenous lands. Rohnelt’s report was simple: he fully supported the project. Second or businessman, Jair Bolsonaro made several trips in his company around 1997, when both were deputies, especially in the Cabeça do Cachorro area, on the border with Colombia and Venezuela. The objective of the visits, which included São Gabriel da Cachoeira, not Amazonas, a city with 90% indigenous people, was to “know the region and see the Army’s actions”. Bolsonaro discovered Six Lakes, in the same area, considered the largest reserve of niobium on the planet. It is possible that he came to Bolsonaro’s obsession with niobium.

Despite the effort to increase exports, the market affirms that the known reserves and exploration of nitrogen throughout the world ― with emphasis on Araxá, in Minas Gerais ― are sufficient for the next 200 years.

The last political position that Rohnelt held in 2014: he obtained 920 votes for federal deputy for Roraima, running for PSDB. Declared equity of R$ 926 thousand year TSE e bens that include tractors, an aircraft and a raft. Envelope or PL 191/2020, sent by Bolsonaro to the Congress in February 2020, Rohnelt is totally in favor. The only condition would be not to assassinate indigenous people and respect the poor who live in isolation. The government can do what it wants, “as long as I don’t prejudice or indian”, he says. “I am not going to kill the Indian, I am going to negotiate, pay royalties, like the US. I don’t have a difference, children”, he credits.

Or gaúcho Elton Rohnelt é o terceiro da esquerda para a direita.
Or gaúcho Elton Rohnelt é o terceiro da esquerda para a direita.Isac Nóbrega (President of the Republic)

The American experience is long to be a reference, porem. The history of pollution is vast, including hundreds of radioactive uranium mines abandoned on indigenous lands, constant threats to sacred places, disrespectful agreements and complete asymmetry of forces. Or the scene is repeated no Canadana Australia and not Chileall tidos as an example hair Governo Bolsonaro.

Elton Rohnelt says that “the isolated Indian” fears that “he will be defended by the Brazilian society”. not so much, o PL 191 provides that, in the case of mineral exploration on land with isolated indigenous people, “Funai will establish the necessary limits to protect these communities”. Hoje, they circulam livres. In the case of TI’s with mixed presence, in which we live isolated with other communities, such as TI Yanomami, this would not at least cause new conflicts. Rohnelt considers that the indigenous people who live in cities ― about 40% population, second or IBGE ― “Nem índio e mais”.

Denial of the Yanomami Genocide

Speaking about the reality in TI Yanomami, which faces serious conflicts caused by garimpo, Elton Rohnelt denies that a genocide occurred in TI Yanomami in the 1980s and presents himself as two leaders of the garimpeira invasion. Second or businessman, who affirms that he was in the region throwing away money at the time, “he didn’t have anything”.

According to the report given National Truth CommissionRomero Jucá, president of Funai from 1986 to 1988, was the main person responsible for allowing the invasion of 40,000 garimpeiros in Yanomami territory. A negligence “delivered thousands of lives and annihilated entire villages.” The garimpeiros will count on the direct support of Jucá and the Federal Government, highlights or report. “There is no official number of deaths in decorrência dessas invasões, but it is estimated that it is in the thousands. Internal communities will disappear due to epidemics, two conflicts with garimpeiros, or devastated by the fome”, states the text.

For Elton Rohnelt, isso é “lie” eo relatório “serious thing of people da esquerda”. “Me prova where houve genocide. Prove, bitch. Genocide, oh, how horrible. How many morreram lá? Where were you? Um what place? I have never seen genocide in the Amazon,” said Rohnelt. Second or businessman with decades of activity in the garimpo, exploration at TI Yanomami is not going to end because “it’s a lot of gold” and the garimpeiros “won’t stop” because “we hit our gold with my hand”.

Businesses in Cabeça do Cachorro

Since the late 1980s, Elton Rohnelt had dozens of requirements for mineral exploration on indigenous lands, including TI Yanomami. Isso caused controversy at the time of his report on the draft law of Romero Jucá.

The matter was again questioned when Rohnelt assumed the position of direct advisor to Michel Temer, in 2018. Subject of the journal Folha de S.Paulo reported that Rohnelt, together with his partner Otávio Lacombe, was besieging indigenous communities of the Alto Rio Negro, in Cabeça do Cachorro, to explore for tantalite, used in the electronics industry. The investments would include donations of boats and other equipment, payment for mining samples and promises of basic basket, it states to reportagem. The technical justification used would be the Indian Statute of 1973, which would allow garimpagem to rudiment. But Lacombe also encourages and advises the creation of indigenous cooperatives, even with a statute soon, says the matter. AND The same strategy used by businessmen linked to Bolsonaro in Pará, in TI Kayapó, for example.

Second Rohnelt, and Lacombe who at the time was “trying to do business with the Indians” and create cooperatives for mining, including in other states such as Pará. Hoje, the partners are separated, says Rohnelt, who maintains a 30% stake in Gold Amazon / Mining of the Amazon, “no name of other people”, he admits. The company venture started in the early 1980s between Rohnelt and the country of Otávio Lacombe.

Second or president emeritus of IDM Brazil, Lacombe continues to work in the same way in Alto Rio Negro and in Cabeça do Cachorro. “My relationship with the leaf is very ruim, we do not fail. He was using my name, entering, because he was not known [pelos indígenas]and I was prejudiced”, alleges Rohnelt.

According to recent data from the National Mining Agency, 75 requirements affect TI Alto Rio Negro, being two from Mineração da Amazônia, both two years 80, with movements in 2019, to explore silver and gold. In TI Yanomami, the Mineração da Amazônia has 28 requirements, all of them from 1988 to the great majority with movements more recent than 2001. Gold, tin, niobium, tantalum, tungsten and manganese are the approved substances. Not generally, TI Yanomami registers nearly 500 mining requirements.

*This report was originally published in Observatório da Mineração

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