Brazil’s president appoints army general chief of staff

– Jair Bolsonaro continues cabinet reshuffles amid criticism from opposition lawmakers

By Vakkas Dogantekin

ANKARA (AA) – Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro appointed Gen. Walter Souza Braga Netto as his new chief of staff, further raising the number of military members in his administration.

The announcement from president's Twitter account late Thursday has marked the third Cabinet reshuffle in the Brazilian government since the beginning of February.

Netto, 63, will replace Onyx Lorenzoni, who will now head the Citizenship Ministry, after serving as the chief of staff throughout Bolsonaro's presidency.

The Brazilian president, who boasts good relations with the country's military, is a retired army captain himself, and Vice President Hamilton Mourao is a retired general.

Meanwhile, on the same day, opposition left-wing lawmakers called on Brazil’s Congress to reject a proposal by Bolsonaro to open indigenous reservations to commercial mining.

They claimed that the Bolsonaro administration is reversing policies on protection of indigenous communities, which are guaranteed by the Constitution, for Brazil’s nearly one million indigenous people.

In early February, Bolsonaro has come under criticism for naming a former evangelical missionary, Ricardo Lopes Dias, as the head of Funai, the agency responsible for protecting isolated indigenous groups.

Brazil officially recognizes 28 isolated indigenous peoples groups in the Amazon.

Bolsonaro earlier said Funai's purpose should be to integrate indigenous groups into Brazilian society.