Two Petitions for Indigenous Communties in Brazil
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Two Petitions for Indigenous Communties in Brazil

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John Ahni Schertow
August 20, 2008
 

Two petitions have been posted online to help the Kaiowa Guarani of Mato Grosso do Sol and the Peoples of Raposa Serra do Sol, in northern Brazil. Details and links to the petitions can be found below…

Raposa Serra do Sol

Signatures are requested by August 21, 2008. Brazil’s Supreme Court is about to decide on whether or not to uphold the ratification of Raposa Serra do Sol, a reserve populated by more than 18,000 Indigenous People. You may recall the recent violence attacks against some of them, at the hands of vigilante rice farmers illegally occupying the reserve. If the supreme court rules against Raposa Serra do Sol, it could be setting a dangerous precedent, even validate the use of force (against law-abiding indigenous people). The Peoples of Raposa Serra do Sol have posted the petition in both Portuguese and English: www.petitiononline.com/rss408/petition.html

The Kaiowa Guarani of Mato Grosso do Sol

The Kaiowa Guarani of Mato Grosso do Sol experience Genocidal Conditions. Their land has been promised for many years. They have requested that international attention be placed on the government entities to complete the demarcation of their land and end to the genocide: www.petitiononline.com:80/guarani/petition.html

An English translation of the Kaiowa Guarani petition:

STOP THE GENOCIDE

For Land and Life of the Kaiowá Guarani People

More than one hundred Kaiowá Guarani lives are sacrificed annually in this beginning of the millennium, in Mato Grosso do Sul. It is the voracity of the monoculture of agribusiness, stimulated by omission of the Federal Government in demarcating the indigenous lands; the impunity of the assassins of the indians and the imprisonment of those who struggle for the rights of their people; the paralyzations of the demarcation proceedings by judicial actions and by the continual intervention of the Legislative and Executive powers of the State and of the municipalities. As a consequence of this, we have a scenario of violence and deaths that characterize a situation of genocide. There are scores of assassinations, deaths by malnutrition, people run over by vehicles, suicides, and a situation of economic scarcity that make unviable their projects of life and future. At present, more than 100 indigenous Kaiowá Guarani are in the prisons in the State.

The principal cause of this dramatic reality is indisputably the lack of land. The confinement, that was initiated in the last century and today reaches the extreme, with more than 40 thousand Kaiowá Guarani living in approximately 20 thousand hectares of land, has generated the worst situation in Brazil in terms of the negation of fundamental human rights.

By means of a task force joined by the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), together with the Kaiowá Guarani communities, there was established a Term of Adjustment of Conduct, signed by the current president of FUNAI, Procurator of the Republic from Dourados and Ponta Porã and indigenous leaderships, in November of 2007. By accord with this term, 36 Kaiowá Guarani indigenous lands are to have been identified by means of implementation of Working Groups. However, the deadlines have passed and until now nothing was completed by FUNAI.

For this reason, the Kaiowá Guarani people solicit your support, through these The Undersigned, for the urgent identification and demarcation of their lands in fulfillment of the Term of Adjustment of Conduct, to the Federal Constitution in consonance with Convention 169 of the ILO and the Declaration of Indigenous Rights of the UN.

These signatures will be sent directly to the president of the Republic, Luiz Inácio da Silva, with copies to the president of FUNAI, Márcio Meira, and to the minister of Justice, Tarso genro.

CAMPANHA KAIOWÁ GUARANI
MOVIMENTO POVO GUARANI UM GRANDE POVO

c/o Yvonne Bangert, Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker/Society for Threatened Peoples (www.gfbv.de)

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