On the morning of Sept. 18, the Guarani community of Apyka’y was violently attacked by a group of ten armed men.
One Guarani was injured after the men fired randomly toward their village camp, situated along the BR-483 highway in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Several others were “beaten with fists and knives”.
The attackers are believed to be security guards, hired by the ranchers that occupy the Guarani’s land. According to Survival International, “the Guarani-Kaiowá of Apyka’y have tried several times to return to their tekoha or ancestral land, which they were forced to leave a decade ago when it was occupied by ranchers. After the Indians’ latest attempt to reoccupy their land, the rancher got an eviction order from the courts, and the community was evicted in April 2009.”
They’ve been living by roadside ever since. However, with no immediate access to water, the community had no choice but turn to the ranch for a supply. The security guards were apparently hired to stop the Guarani from collecting water.
Now, without any water or land, it would appear the Guarani can’t even be displaced. After the Guarani were attacked, the gunmen set fire to their camp and warned them to abandon the area or they would be killed. The Guarani are deeply concerned that an attack may be imminent.
This is the second Guarani village to come under attack in less than a week. Just four days earlier, on Sept. 14, the Guarani community of Nanderu Laranjeirawas was forced to abandon their ancestral lands, also in Mato Grosso. That same night, the community watched on as their village was burned to the ground.
What You Can Do
Please write letters to Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Minister of Human Rights Paulo Vanucchi and Minister of Justice Tarso Genro urging them to guarantee the safety and security of the Guarani People and fulfill their obligations under the International Labor Organization’s Convention 169, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Brazilian constitution by completing all outstanding land demarcations.
Send your letters to:
- Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva – President of Brazil (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Patrus Ananias – Minister of Social Development and Combat against Hunger (email@example.com)
- Paulo Vanucchi – Minister of Human Rights (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Tarso Genro – Minister of Justice (email@example.com)