BRASILIA, Brazil, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Brazilian indigenous demonstrators clashed with police inside the National Congress building in Brasilia on Tuesday to protest a proposal concerning indigenous lands.
The bill, PEC 215/00, would authorize Brazil's Congress -- rather than the executive branch -- to demarcate indigenous lands.
"The indigenous people were not consulted on the bills," said Sonia Guajajara, the national coordinator of Brazil's Association of Indigenous Peoples.
Armed with bows and arrows, the group of 30 protesters tried to enter Tuesday's committee session but were repelled by police officers who blocked the entrance and deployed pepper spray. One policeman's shoe was struck with an arrow but he was uninjured.
Sen. Katia Abreu has been vocal in her opposition to the indigenous proposal to have its agency, Funai, in charge of demarcation.
"The decisions on demarcations are taken by a lone anthropologist after hearing the indigenous groups. The National Congress, which is elected by the people, is not consulted," Abreu told Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper last year.
Tuesday's committee session adjourned shortly after the incident.