News-Letter Nr. 498

Tuxaua gathered in Roraima

Leaders of the Macuxi, Wapixana, Taurepang, Ingarikó, Pantamona and Yanomami indigenous peoples will gather this week in the General Assembly of the Tuxaua, organized by the Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR). The assembly will be held in the Pium village, located at 80 km from Boa Vista, the capital of the state. This year, the discussions will be focused on human rights and territorial rights and will address controversial topics like the presence of the military in indigenous areas and large projects.

The construction of forts for the so-called "Border Platoons" as part of the Calha Norte Program and human rights were the main topics addressed in the debates that were held on the first day of the assembly. The topic grew in importance after the Army decided to build military facilities for the 6th Special Border Platoon in the municipality of Uiramutã, inside the Raposa/Serra do Sol indigenous land, without the permission of the indigenous people living in them. CIR even file a suit to prevent the fort from being built, but the preliminary order that was issued as a result of that suit was suspended. The Army is building the fort and the city hall of Uiramutã, a municipality illegally created inside the indigenous land, has plans to attract people to live in the area around the military facility. In CIR's opinion, the fort constitutes another encroachment upon the indigenous land and defended this point of view in the assembly. The territorial rights of indigenous peoples were also addressed, with emphasis on the legal situation of their areas, on the situation of conservation units located in indigenous lands and on large projects. The assembly will also be discussing issues related to health, education, self-sustainability, and elections, which will be held this year.

Kaiová continue to resist

The Guarani and Kaiová continue to resist attempts to remove them from Cerro Marangatu, an area they reoccupied in the municipality of Antônio João, state of Mato Grosso do Sul. On Tuesday, the 5th, judge Aricê Amaral, chief reporting justice of the Federal Regional Court (TRF) in São Paulo, decided to give 30 additional days for the indigenous community to stay in the reoccupied area. The decision was made at the request of the Federal Prosecution Service and of Funai. Worried with the tense situation prevailing in the area, the Archdiocese of the Catholic Church in Campo Grande invited human rights organizations, NGOs and representatives of the state government to discuss the issue. At the end of the meeting, a letter will be written and sent to the ministry of Justice supporting the rights of the indigenous people to remain in the area. The Kaiová want to reoccupy the Cerro Marangatu traditional area, from which they were expelled in the 50s by farmer Pio Silva, father of the mayor of Antônio João, Dárcio Queiroz.

Indigenous pÌeoples are greeted with applause at the World Social Forum

The conference "indigenous peoples," held on February 2, was one of the events that attracted the largest number of people at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, state of Rio Grande do Sul. About 2,000 people attended the conference and discussed the topic, focusing on official indigenous policies and indigenous rights. The indigenous leaders Dionito Macuxi and Aurivan dos Santos Truká participated in the event as speakers. According to Cimi's executive secretary, who participated in the debate, it was an excellent moment to explain the philosophy of indigenous peoples, which is based on the existence of a multinational, multicultural, and multilingual State. The indigenous delegation submitted proposals to the coordinators of the Forum demanding, among other things, the development of a new form of relationship with the states and their governments based on the principle of coexistence with respect for self-determination and for the social, cultural, spiritual and linguistic diversity and on a legal, territorial, and organizational restructuring between Indigenous Nations and Peoples and the states.

Brasília, February 07, 2002.
Indianist Missionary Council - Cimi

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