AMERICA/BRAZIL - CIMI: the natives can no longer move safely in their territories

Wednesday, 6 November 2019 indigenous   local churches   violence   human rights  


Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) - "The Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI), with indignation and sadness, accuses and blames the State and the Brazilian government for the cowardly assassination of Paulo Paulino Guajajara, which occurred on the evening of Friday November 1st within the indigenous territory Arariboia in Maranhão. The native was 26 years old and leaves his wife and child": this is the communiqué sent to Fides by CIMI. Paulino Guajajara and Laércio Souza Silva had left the village of Lagoa Comprida, north of the indigenous land, 100 km from the municipality of Amarante, to go hunting. In the woods they were surprised by five armed woodcutters, the report said.
The men, with weapons in their hands, asked Paulino and Laercio to deliver bows and arrows, traditional instruments used for hunting. Guajajara had little chance of defense.
Members of the civil police of Amarante went by helicopter to pick Paulino's body and take him to his community for the funeral. A first police report speaks of an ambush.
The region of the village of Lagoa Comprida has been regularly invaded by loggers for many years. In 2007 the native Tomé Guajajara was assassinated in that very area. The following year, in 2008, the loggers invaded the village of Cabeceira, shooting the natives.
The Arariboia indigenous territory has officially been recognized and registered since 1990 with 413 thousand hectares. Here about 6 thousand indigenous Guajajara, or Tenetehar, and Awá-Guajá live.
CIMI has denounced the increase of the invasions of the indigenous territories, following the encouragement of those who oppose the regularization of the territories registered by the Federal Constitution. Today it is not an exaggeration to say that the natives can no longer move safely in their territories.
CIMI in addition to requesting an investigation into the tragic fact, denounces those who have encouraged and allowed the invasions of indigenous lands, associated with attacks, murders, threats, revolts, arson.
CIMI considers the current government guilty of not having respected the Federal Constitution in defense of the indigenous territories.
The document is signed by the General Secretariat of CIMI, with the date November 2, 2019. From January to September 2019, the Commission against Violence against Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, counted 160 cases of invasions in 153 indigenous territories in 19 Brazilian states. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 6/11/2019)