News-Letter Nr. 561

Indigenous peoples deliver Final Document of meeting

The Final Document of the National Meeting of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations of Brazil will be delivered today to the Office of the President of the Republic, to the presidents of the Chamber of Representatives and of the Federal Senate, to the ministries of Justice, Education, Health, and Environment, to the Supreme Court of Justice, and to the 6th Chamber. The full document is as follows.

Bras¡lia, 30 April 2003.
Cimi - Indianist Missionary Council

"National Meeting of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations of Brazil
25-30 April 2003

Final Document

We, indigenous leaders of 54 peoples from all regions of Brazil, met at the National Meeting of the Indigenous Peoples and Organizations of Brazil, which was attended by 250 participants and was held at the Vicente Cañas Training Center in Luziânia, state of Goiás, Brazil, on 25-30 April 2003, to discuss the indigenous policy that we wish to have based on the concrete reality of our communities.

We are deeply worried with the escalation of violence against our peoples, as a result of which this year alone 7 indigenous people were murdered already because our right to our territories has not been guaranteed so far and because of prejudice.

Four months after the inauguration of the new Brazilian federal administration, which replaced fear with hope, we are surprised to see that no indigenous policy has been defined and that the official recognition of indigenous lands has been delayed for no justified reason. The decision to submit demarcation procedures to the approval of the National Security Council is clearly illegal. We see that violence against our peoples is increasing as a result of the inability of the federal administration to ensure our historical right to the lands we have traditionally lived in since ancient times.

We do not accept the establishment of conservation units in indigenous lands, because it contradicts our right to exclusive usufruct of their natural riches and creates huge problems for our communities.

After many and long years of struggle of the indigenous movement, we expect the government to adopt specific and differentiated public policies in the areas of education, health, and self-sustainability capable of ensuring respect for our ethnic and cultural diversity and the necessary resources for their actual implementation.

We strongly reject the Constitutional Amendment Proposal nº 38 proposed by Senator Mozarildo Cavalcanti/state of Roraima, which limits the size of indigenous lands per state and abolishes our original right to lands traditionally occupied by indigenous people. We also reject other Constitutional Amendment Proposals and Bills aimed at restricting rights we have conquered and at allowing third parties to exploit natural resources found in our lands.

We also want to see the Statute of Indigenous Peoples passed after a broad discussion with indigenous peoples and organizations, so that it may strengthen our rights and meet our needs.

We welcome the initiative to create the Parliamentarian Front in Defense of Indigenous Rights and count on it to pass bills proposed by the indigenous movement as a whole.

Considering this situation, we propose the following:

  1. The creation of a provisional Indigenous Policy Committee charged with defining the policy to be adopted by the Brazilian State with a broad participation of indigenous people until the Indigenous Ministry is actually established.

  2. The creation of the Indigenous Ministry to strengthen public policies capable of ensuring our historical and constitutional rights and of meeting the concrete demands of our peoples.

  3. The immediate official confirmation of the bounds of the Raposa/Serra do Sol indigenous land and of all other lands for which the required decree is yet to be issued by the President of the Republic.

  4. Punishment for the murderers of our leaders (Aldo da Silva Mota - Macuxi/state of Roraima; Leopoldo Crespo - Kaingang/state of Rio Grande do Sul; Marcos Veron - Guarani-Kaiow /state of Mato Grosso do Sul; Adenilson Barbosa Xucuru/state of Pernambuco; Joseilton Jos‚ Atikum/state of Pernambuco; João Batista Truk /state of Pernambuco; Roberto Batista Truk /state of Pernambuco, Chief Joaquim Xavante/state of Mato Grosso, and Raimundo Silvino Shawanaw /state of Acre) and immediate actions to solve problems that affect the Xucuru de Ororub /state of Pernambuco, the Tux /state of Bahia, the Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hãe/state of Bahia, the Pataxó/state of Bahia, the Cinta Larga/state of Rondônia, and the peoples of the Raposa/Serra do Sol indigenous land.

  5. The immediate removal of all woodcutters and squatters who have invaded the Uru-I-Wau-Wau and Karipuna indigenous lands in the state Rondônia and the Guajajara indigenous land in the state of Maranhão.

  6. The immediate establishment of working groups to identify and delimit indigenous lands.

  7. Recognition of reemerged indigenous peoples and demarcation of their lands.

  8. Immediate removal of all non-indigenous people from traditional indigenous lands for the purpose of ensuring our rights and eradicating violence.

  9. Urgent measures to formally prohibit the construction and operation of all hydroelectric power plants affecting the Rio Branco indigenous land in the municipality of Alta Floresta/state of Rondônia, because they threaten the physical and cultural survival of indigenous communities in that area, as they did in relation to the Tux people in the state of Bahia.

  10. Assurance of the exclusive usufruct provided for in article 231 of the Federal Constitution of natural resources found in indigenous areas by indigenous communities, preventing their exploitation by third parties.

  11. Revocation of the Decree 1775/96, which restricts our rights to the land, and of the decree 4,412/02, which provides for the presence of the military and of the Federal Police in indigenous lands and is clearly unconstitutional.

  12. Passage of the Statute of Indigenous Peoples by the National Congress.

  13. Revocation of Conservation Units established in indigenous lands.

  14. Earmarking of specific funds in the PPA (Pluriannual Plan -2004 - 2007) for demarcating and protecting the lands, health, education, and self-sustainability of our peoples.

  15. Holding of the National Conference on Indigenous Education.

  16. Creation of the National Secretariat for Indigenous Education within the Ministry of Education.

  17. Appointment of an indigenous representative to the High Chamber of the National Education Council.

  18. Guaranteed participation of indigenous people in technical teams, in Departments that deal with indigenous education, in the Ministry of Education, and in the education secretariats of the states.

  19. Administrative and financial autonomy for the DSEIs, ensuring the federal competence and enforcing the resolutions issued at the 3rd National Conference on Health.

  20. Guaranteed presence of 04 representatives of indigenous peoples in the National Health Council.

  21. Guaranteed participation of indigenous people in the board of directors of the DSEIs.

  22. Dismissal of DESAI's (Funasa's Indigenous Health Department) coordinator.

  23. Enhanced social control over public policies designed for our peoples.

  24. Formulation of a policy specifically designed to foster the self-sustainability of our communities through programs aimed at protecting and recovering the environment in our lands, supporting indigenous economies, and certifying our products.

"We want more respect for our lifestyle, which we intend to preserve".
(Augusto Kaingang, chief of the Irai Village/state of Rio Grande do Sul)

Luziânia - GO, 30 April 2003".

Bras¡lia, 30 April 2003.
Cimi - Indianist Missionary Council

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