The International Criminal Court (ICC) was approached by a Brazilian indigenous organization on Monday regarding the investigation of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in connection with genocide.

In a case filed with the court, the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) alleged that since he was sworn in as President in 2019, he has been leading a policy that is "explicit, systematic and intentional anti-indigenous."

The organization's legal coordinator, Eloy Terena, shared that they believe there are acts in progress in their country that constitute genocide, ecocide and crimes against humanity, reported Global Times. He said, "Given the inability of the justice system in Brazil to investigate, prosecute and judge these (crimes), we denounce them to the international community."

Ever since Bolsonaro came into power, there has been reportedly a surge of destruction in the Amazon rainforest. There are also less environmental protection programs.

Lawyer Samara Pataxo told DW that Bolsonaro is encouraging deforestation and illegal mining in indigenous areas. "This is evidence for the crime of genocide because these events fueled the destruction of communities and increased violence and deaths," he added.

In the past also, indigenous leaders have blamed the president for attacking their homelands and people. Earlier this year, well-known indigenous chief Raoni Metuktire approached the ICC to file a case. He asked the court to investigate the president for crimes against humanity, saying that under Bolsonaro's leadership, the destruction of the Amazonian forest has happened rapidly.

In an interview with The Guardian last year, Metuktire, who has lived through 24 administrations, said that he has seen many presidents come and go, but none of them threatened the indigenous people and the forest the way Bolsonaro has. He feels that Bolsonaro has been the worst for the indigenous people.

Metuktire shared that he fought "in campaigns" years ago. After his people had their lands demarcated, he stopped campaigning because everything seemed fine. But he decided to fight again because the current president threatens indigenous people.

In the Amazon, deforestation touched near-record levels for the last 12 months. As per a new satellite data from Brazilian space agency INPE's DETER monitoring program, from August 2020 to July 2021, about 8,712 square kilometers (3,364 square miles) of forest cover was ruined.

Jair Bolsonaro
President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro smiles during an event to launch a new register for professional workers of the fish industry at Planalto Government Palace on June 29, 2021 in Brasilia, Brazil. Health Minister, Marcelo Queiroga, announced after the event and in conversation with journalists, that the contract with the Covaxin vaccine is suspended. Photo by Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

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