Brasilia – Indigenous chief Raoni Metuktire, proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize, said on Wednesday his people would not leave the Amazon and called on Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro to step down, a day after the head of state accused him of being a pawn of foreign interests.
Brazil's top indigenous chief was welcomed by opposition lawmakers with ovations and tribal chants at Congress, where he spoke to reporters through an interpreter.
"Bolsonaro said I was not a leader, but it is he who is no leader and should go," Raoni, 89, said at the news conference to chants of "Raoni yes, Bolsonaro no".
Raoni, an unmistakable Amazon icon with large lip plate, yellow macaw-feather headdress and bead necklaces, became known internationally as an environmental campaigner in the 1980s with musician Sting at his side.
The Kayapo chief has become the symbol of the fight to stop deforestation in the Amazon and a group of environmentalists and anthropologists put his name forward as a candidate for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for his lifetime defense of the forest.