The Federal Court decided that the money collected from the auction of cassiterite, ore extracted by mining in the Yanomami Indigenous Territory (TI), will be used to combat illegal activity in indigenous lands. There are about R$ 10.5 million, obtained from 205 tons of material seized, which will be destined to the National Foundation of Indigenous Peoples (Funai) and to the Union.
The court decision responded to a request from the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), which disagreed with the understanding of the National Mining Agency (ANM), which intended to receive the collected amounts itself. According to the MPF, a public notice published in April 2022 determined the auction of cassiterite and other materials seized in Roraima, with the money being reverted to the Agency itself.
“The MPF understands that this would represent a serious inversion of the burden of the crimes that occurred in indigenous lands, since it is up to the government to prevent the practice of illegal mining, not being able to end up benefiting from it”, highlights a statement published by the Public Ministry, which adds that the Unity, especially under the government of Jair Bolsonaro (PL)acted as “a kind of partner of the criminal industry operating in the indigenous lands that it was supposed to protect”.
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According to the court’s decision, Funai and the Union have 15 days to confirm receipt of the funds and, subsequently, another 30 days to present a plan for the application of funds to guarantee the preservation of the Yanomami IL and combat illegal activities by miners in the region. .
The auction in question was only held after a court decision in January 2022. On the 24th of the following month, the event was held. Between August 2020 and February 2022 there were more than 3 thousand alerts illegal mining in the Yanomami TI region, according to the MPF. The auctioned material was seized between 2021 and 2022.
Cassiterite is the source of tin, a metal used in the production of alloys, such as tinplate, known and useful for its malleability and ability to prevent corrosion and rust. Due to these properties, the metal is present in several products, such as cell phone screens, car coatings, glass manufacturing and food cans, among other applications.
To the Brazil in fact AMN stated that it complied with the court decision and is still trying to reverse the decision. Read the note sent in full:
“In the records of Public Civil Action No. 1004065-94.2022.4.01.4200, filed by the Federal Public Ministry against the Union, the National Mining Agency (ANM) and the National Indigenous Foundation (Funai), the Federal Judge of the 2nd The Judiciary Section of Roraima granted the requests for provisional relief, ordering the agency to publish, within a maximum period of 30 days, an auction notice for goods (limited to mineral resources, including subsoil) found or seized and associated with mining activity or illegal mining in the State of Roraima, unless it is proven that mining did not take place in indigenous territory, especially with regard to minerals seized as a result of operations determined under ACP No. fully in favor of the Union and Funai.
ANM, represented by the Federal Attorney General’s Office, filed the Interlocutory Appeal No. 1029848-78.2022.4.01.0000 against said decision. However, the Rapporteur Federal Judge SOUZA PRUDENT rejected the request for anticipation of the appeal.
Therefore, as the Rapporteur did not attribute suspensive effect to the grievance, the agency complied with the court decision, publishing Notices No. 1 to 10/2023 and holding the auctions on 02/24/023 at 10 am.
Judicially, the ANM continues to act for the reform of the decision, so that the amounts collected are reversed in favor of the agency, as provided for in art. 19, VIII, of Law no. 13,575/2017.”
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho