Newsletter 891 – Fazendeiros threaten Guarani community that retook traditional land in Mato Grosso do Sul

A group of  farm owners and their private security forces threatened with gun fire and dogs the circa 250 Guarani Kaiowá who yesterday, Nov 25,  retook part of their traditional territory (Kurussu Ambá), near the municipality of Coronel Sapucaia, in Mato Grosso do Sul. The episodes of violence occurred yesterday and this morning.


According to the report by leaders of the community, late at night, the approximately 10 cars appeared in the encampment and commenced shooting into the air with the intent to scare the indigenous people. Community members, terrified, hid in the forest, and on Thursday were still looking for those who were lost in the confusion. Indigenous statements also confirm that there was a Border Patrol vehicle  (Departamento de Operações de Fronteiras (DOF).


The Guarani urgently request the presence, in the area, of the National Foundation for Indigenous Affairs (Funai) and the presence of the Ministério Público federal (MPF). The Federal Police also did not verify the the situation in the area. Besides for protection of the indigenous peoples, the presence of the Federal Police is necessary in order to make possible the presence of FUNAI service workers in the area, as they also have been threatened without police protection.


In two years: deaths and injuries

The area occupied is 5km from the Fazenda Madama, where, during a dispossession in January of 2007, private security guards murdered the shaman Julite Lopes, 70 years old. Even today, those responsible for the crime remain have not been apprehended.


The community of Kurussu Ambá has been living for four years at the side of the highway MS289 that connects Amambaí to Coronel Sapucaia, where children are unable to even gain access to potable water. In this period, in addition to the murder of Julite, Ortiz Lopes, another leader was also murdered in July of 2007. And, according to indigenous reports, in May 2009 Osvaldo Lopes was assassinated. No investigation into these murders has been concluded. Another five indigenous members of the community have bodily scars from bullet wounds, having been shot during an attack by private security forces against the group.


Since 2007, three children of the community have died from malnutrition because the community has no conditions for planting in the space in which they find themselves and do not receive sufficient food from the State. Health care is also precarious. The Guarani Kaiowá also denounce the joined forces of the farmers and police, which instigate situations in an attempt to criminalize the people. “We also deserve respect and consideration from the national and regional authorities”, state the leaders of the community.


Brasilia, 26 November of 2009

Indigenist Missionary Council

Fonte: CIMI Team Mato Grosso do Sul
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