So-called armed guards working for one of the rice farmer’s currently (illegally) occupying Raposa/Serra do Sol indigenous territory opened fire on a group of Macuxi indigenous People yesterday, injuring At least 10. One of them remains hospitalized in serious condition.
The owner of the farm, Paulo Cesar Quartiero, claims his men were firing in self-defense after the group refused to leave ‘his’ property. The Earth Times quote him as saying, “They invaded the estate. My men went there to ask them to leave, but they were met with arrows. There was a clash, and some people were injured,” Quartiero said.
The Macuxi say otherwise. Representative Joao Ribeiro for one, says the men didn’t speak to anyone. They just started shooting as they arrived.
Dionito de Souza, a Macuxi Chief and coordinator of the Roraima Indigenous Council, reaffirmed this in a phone interview, adding that the people were “building houses on land close to the farm” when it happened.
Considering the recent violence by the farmers — which among other things, included the use of a homemade bomb against one Macuxi leader, and an assault on Nailton Muniz from the Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hãe people — the latter version is more than likely the truth.
In any event, what we know for certain is that this latest attack would not have happened if the Brazilian Government did it’s job.
Last Month, Brazilian Police set out to remove the remaining illegal settlers from Raposa/Serra do Sol indigenous territory (which included Paulo Cesar Quartiero) in compliance with an order signed by the President of Brazil three years ago (something they should have done on the word “go…”) That’s when the settlers began attacking the region’s indigenous people and blocking all entry points to the area. Shortly thereafter, the Brazilian Supreme Court suspended the operation.
UPDATE: Paulo Cesar Quartiero has been arrested. No details have been released as to the charges he faces.
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