The proposed legislation establishes an emergency plan to combat the pandemic in indigenous territories and classifies indigenous people and other traditional communities as "groups in situations of extreme vulnerability." Under the law, the groups would also considered at high risk for public health emergencies.
Bolsonaro vetoed points which assured access to drinking water, free distribution of hygiene products and the distribution of cleaning and disinfection materials to indigenous communities. He also vetoed a proposal ensuring mandatory emergency funds for indigenous people's healthcare.
He additionally vetoed the emergency provision of more hospital beds and intensive care units (ICUs) for indigenous people. Parts of the law allowing for the acquisition of ventilators and blood oxygenation machines were also rejected.
But the vetoes are not final. The law's text, which has already been approved by the country's Congress and Senate, must now be voted upon again. If a majority in both houses vote against the President's vetoes, the law will be approved in its entirety. Otherwise, the law will move forward without the vetoed parts.
The publication of the new legislation, with Bolsonaro's vetoes, took place on the same day that Supreme Court judge Luis Roberto Barroso ordered the government to take measures to protect such communities from Covid-19.
Barroso asked the government to create a national emergency plan, to install sanitary barriers and to establish a "Situation Room" to manage the response to the disease in indigenous territories.