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UN denounces marginalization of blacks, Indians in Brazil

BRASILIA, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Navanethem Pillay, criticized on Friday the situation of blacks and Indians in Brazil, who lack basic services or employment opportunities.

Pillay described the situation of indigenous people as "invisible," stressing that none of the federal and state officials she met during her three-day visit was Indian, which demonstrated their continued marginalization.

"Most of the indigenous peoples in Brazil do not benefit from the impressive economic progress and are held in poverty by discrimination and indifference, forced off their land into the trap of forced labor," she told a press conference.

Pillay made the remarks after visiting Rio de Janeiro, Salvadorand Brasilia. During her visit, she signed an agreement with the Brazilian government on human rights protection.

The commissioner also said that violence was a major cause of death in the Afro-Brazilian group due to the excessive use of force by police and the existence of illegal militias.

"If that does not change, the situation will undermine progress in Brazil on many other fronts," she said.

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