An indigenous Bororo community in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso is on edge after land invaders threatened to destroy their village and attack children, adults and elderly people.
In a recent article on BrazzilMag, Maria Aparecida Toroekure, chief of the indigenous community explains that the invaders have been threatening them for 20 days now.
[…] but since January 28 they began to act more aggressively. Twenty of the 28 indigenous people who lived in the indigenous area left after these threats.
Aparecida believes that threats like these are made because people believe that they can commit crimes against the Bororo people and get away with it.
“They think they can kill a Bororo or set fire to a truck belonging to a Bororo and get away with it,” she said. She was referring to the murder of Elenilson Batare in March 2007 and to an incident involving her son-in-law in December 2006.
The community has notified Funai (a state agency mandated to serve Brazil’s indigenous People) – who has since promised to visit the area with Federal Police (PF) officers – but Aparecida fears they will not take any serious measures, which has been the case in the past.
The land was demarcated in 1945, but it has been repeatedly occupied by different invaders since then.
In June 2006, Aparecida and other people from the Bororo community reoccupied part of the indigenous land with the aim of pressuring Funai and the court system to speed up the removal of invaders from it.
Since then, they have been threatened and have suffered acts of aggression from some invaders. Aparecida stressed that she does not feel intimidated by this situation: “I will only leave this area after I am dead. This is a legally registered area. We have the right to live here.”
Five people of the Bororo community from the Sangradouro village arrived there today (January 31) and will stay for some days with Aparecida and her family to support the indigenous community.
Contact the President of Funai, imploring him to assist the Bororo indigenous community and to help ensure there are no more invasions. The land is demarcated after all – which makes it illegal for invaders to enter without permission, let alone issue threats of violence.
Dr Márcio Meira
President – FUNAI
SEP Quadra 702 Sul
Edificio Lex, BI A, 3° andar
70390-025, Brasilia DF
Fax +55 61 3226 8782
Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it's our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources - and we're up against a constant tide of misinformation and distorted coverage. By supporting IC you're empowering the kind of journalism we need, at the moment we need it most.