News-Letter Nr. 497

World Social Forum will have panel about indigenous peoples

Twenty-five indigenous people representing the Post-Indigenous Conference Commission, will attend the 2nd World Social Forum, between January 31 and February 5 in Porto Alegre, state of Rio Grande do Sul. The Forum will be attended by indigenous leaders representing the Macuxi(RR), Wapixana (RR), Tembé (PA), Tapajós (PA), Guajajara (MA), Krikati (MA), Xavante (MT), Umutina (MT), Terena (MT), Kaxinawá (AC), Pataxó (BA), Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hãe (BA), Tumbalalá (BA), Truká (PE), Xukuru (PE), Xukuru-Kariri (AL), Karajá (TO), Guarani (SC), Xokleng (SC) and Guarani (MS). The presence of indigenous people will be much larger because of the confirmed presence of other delegations. It is the second time the forum is held and the first one in which indigenous peoples will take part in the main panel of conferences. Last year, the participation of indigenous people was restricted to a camp set up near the site of the meeting.

The conferences have been divided into four main topics for discussion: production of riches and social reproduction, access to riches and sustainability; affimative action for civil society and public spaces; and political power and ethics in the new society.

On February 2nd, the panel "indigenous peoples" included in the conference "Access to riches and sustainability" will be presented by Blanca Chancoso, representative of the Confederation of Indigenous Nations of Ecuador (Conaie), and Mathieu Coon Come, a Canadian indigenous person. The Macuxi, Dionito José de Souza and the Truká, Aurivan dos Santos, representing indigenous peoples in Brazil, and Aldo Gonzáles, from the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) of Mexico, will take part in the debate. More than 10,000 delegates representing 2,110 organizations of 80 countries, in addition to a large number of observers and guests, have been registered to attend the event. At least 60,000 people are expected to be present at the Forum. A public with which indigenous peoples expect to develop closer bonds of friendship and unity.

The indigenous leaders will analyze the situation of indigenous peoples focusing on the main challenges for the life and concrete struggle of indigenous peoples, victories already achieved, and problems yet to be tackled. "We want to talk about our struggle, about the demarcation of indigenous lands, about health and education problems, and about securing support to our cause. We want to show that our lands have been invaded and that even after they are demarcated, there are no funds available to indemnify their occupants for improvements made therein. " The government says it doesn't have money, our lands continue to be invaded and conflicts linger on," explains Dionito. The 2nd World Social Forum is an important and timely event for social-oriented sectors of the Brazilian society to express their disapproval of the exclusion caused by globalization.

Kaiová indigenous people refuse to leave reocupied area

The deadline for the Kaiová of the Cerro Marangatu tekohá (traditional land) to be expelled from it, which was yesterday, was once again extended. Fearing a conflict between indigenous people and the police, the government of the State and the ministry of Justice decided to call back the military and agents of the Federal Police that were ready to execute a writ of reintegration in favor of farmer Pio Silva, father of the mayor of the Antônio João municipality, Dárcio Queiroz, where the indigenous land is located. The new deadline expires on February 8th. The situation is tense in the reoccupied area. The Kaiová of Cerro Marangatu received support from other communities. More than 500 people are estimated to be in the area right now, including men, women and children. The indigenous people want the process of demarcation of the indigenous land to be completed.

Brasília, January 31, 2002.
Indianist Missionary Council - Cimi

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