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No evidence links Brazil's indigenous leader's death to murder, says Bolsonaro

Christian Fernsby |
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday that there was no evidence that indigenous leader Emyra Waiapi in the northern state of Amapa was murdered, local media reported.

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The Waiapi tribe, living on a reservation near Brazil's northwestern border, said their leader was killed in a conflict with miners and an invasion of their land by a group of 15 heavily armed men last week.

The Federal Police and the Prosecution Office were sent to investigate the case. "Circumstances still need to be clarified. With the evidence collected so far, there is not a single line of investigation. We are working with several lines," Federal Prosecutor Rodolfo Lopes said at a press conference on Monday.

"In this case, so far there is no evidence that that Indian was murdered," Bolsonaro told reporters in Brasilia.

Brazil's native population is legally entitled to areas designated as reservations. However, in recent years, their unexploited territory has been invaded by farmers and resource prospectors who were trying to seize the land, according to the Rio Times.

Earlier on Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet condemned Waiapi's killing and criticized Bolsonaro for allowing mining in more Amazon lands. She asked him to reconsider his stance on the matter.

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