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Brazil’s Mura report threats amid push to approve Amazon potash mine

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By Ana Mano

SAO PAULO, April 28 (Reuters)Leaders of Brazil’s Mura people said on Friday tensions had risen in the Autazes region where they live after a team from the federal agency traveled to the area to discuss the possibility of demarcating their land. ancestral, which straddles an area where a Canadian company wants to build a potash mine.

Speaking at a news conference hosted by Amazonas state federal prosecutors, two leaders of Mura said their communities received new threats after Funai, the federal indigenous agency, visited the region at the end of March to start discussions on the demarcation of the territory of Soares/Urucurituba, where Potassio do Brasil plans to build the project of $2.5 billion.

Sergio, a Mura executive, said false information began circulating after Funai’s arrival, including that the agency would “take land away from farmers”. Sergio said Funai’s mission was only to explain a potential future demarcation, which is a long process. But the region is plagued by conflict, with amazon tribes to have suffered for decades with the encroachment of farmers on their reserves.

A second Mura leader, Adnelson, reported threats ‘before and after’ Funai’s visit, including a note left with the local native council saying, ‘Someone will suffer the consequences if the Potassio mine doesn’t happen. “.

Potassio do Brasil, a unit of Brazil Potash in Toronto, has already denied any coercion and declared to have strictly followed the consultation protocol. Regarding the allegations made by Mura executives at the press conference, the firm said it was encouraged by the federal prosecutor handling the case, “leaving the company no alternative but the tireless pursuit of justice. “.

federal prosecutor Fernando Soave said ongoing consultations overseen by Mura’s court were not ‘free’ or ‘good faith’, citing threats against Mura since the company began trying to approve the mining project.

The prosecutor reiterated that Mura’s consultations should be suspended because the demarcation studies have not been completed. A court decision is pending on this claim.

“When the consultations started, chaos set in,” Soave said, adding that he had contacted state protective services to act on behalf of the indigenous community.

Potassio do Brasil needs three years to build the mine facilities and aim begin potash production there in 2026.

(Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Josie Kao and Leslie Adler)

((ana.mano@thomsonreuters.com; tel: +55-11-5644-7704; mobile: +55-119-4470-4529; Reuters messaging: ana.mano.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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