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Brazil: Indigenous group in critical situation

, Index number: AMR 19/012/2010

Approximately 80 members of the Guarani Kaiowá Y’poí Indigenous group in Brazil have been threatened by armed men hired by local farm owners. They have been prevented from leaving their encampment, resulting in no access to water, food, education and health.

Further information on UA 306/09 Index: AMR 19/012/2010 Brazil Date: 10 September 2010
URGENT ACTION
INDIGENOUS GROUP IN CRITICAL SITUATION
Approximately 80 members of the Guarani Kaiowá Y’poí Indigenous group in Brazil have been
threatened by armed men hired by local farm owners. They have been prevented from leaving
their encampment, resulting in no access to water, food, education and health.
The group reoccupied farmland they claim as part of their ancestral territory near Paranhos, Brazil, in April. They are
surrounded by armed men hired by local farm owners and have been threatened and gunshots have been fired into
the air at night. They are also being prevented from leaving their encampment. This has left them in a critical
situation with no access to water, food, education and health.
The Federal Indigenous Health Agency (FUNASA) has not provided care to the community allegedly claiming this is
due to lack of security. The community’s children are falling sick due to the lack of medical assistance, water and
the dry weather conditions. The community has denounced their situation to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, the
National Indian Foundation (Fundação Nacional do Índio, FUNAI) and the state police authorities, but so far no
action has been taken.
Previously, the Guarani Kaiowa Y’p community was violently evicted from their ancestral land in October 2009.
During the eviction, community members say that they saw Genivaldo Vera being taken away by the gunmen and his
cousin Rolindo Vera fleeing into the forest. Genivaldo Vera’s body was found in a nearby river a few days later. His
head had been shaved and his body had extensive bruising. Rolindo Vera’s whereabouts remain unknown. After over
300 days, Rolindo’s family continue to wait for the Federal Police to tell them what happened to him or to bring
them Rolindo’s body back. The community wants to search for Rolindo but are not allowed outside their
encampment.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Portuguese or your own language:
Calling for the authorities to guarantee the community’s security and ensure that they have adequate food, water,
health care; and that they are able to travel freely.
Urging the authorities to ensure FUNASA and the Federal Police visit the site and provide adequate care to the
community.
Demanding that the Federal Police conclude the investigation into the death of Genivaldo Vera and the
whereabouts of Rolindo Vera and bring those responsible to justice.
Urge the authorities to fulfill their obligations under the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 169, the
UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Brazilian constitution by completing all outstanding
demarcations of Indigenous lands.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 22 OCTOBER 2010 TO:
Federal Minister of Justice
Exmo. Sr. Luiz Paulo Teles
Ferreira Barreto
Esplanada dos Ministérios,
Bloco "T"
70712-902 - Brasília/DF Brasil
Fax: + 55 61 3322 6817/ 3224
3398
Salutation: Dear Minister
Federal Human Rights Secretary
Secretaria Especial de Direitos
Humanos
Exmo. Secretário Especial
Sr. Paulo de Tarso Vannuchi
Esplanada dos Ministérios-
Bloco "T" - 4º andar, 70064-
900 Brasília/DF Brasil
Fax: + 55 61 3226 7980
Salutation: Dear Secretary
And copies to:
Conselho Indigenista Missionário,
(CIMI local NGO)
CIMI Regional Mato Grosso do Sul
Av. Afonso Pena, 1557 Sala 208
Bl.B
79002-070 Campo Grande/MS,
Brasil
Email: cimims@terra.com.br
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives of Brazil accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after
the above date. This is the 1st update of UA 306/09. Further information: www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR19/020/2009/en
Date: 10 September 2010
URGENT ACTION
INDIGENOUS GROUP IN CRITICAL SITUATION
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Mato Grosso do Sul state contains some of the smallest, poorest and most densely populated Indigenous areas in Brazil: rural
pockets of poverty surrounded by large soya and sugar cane plantations and cattle ranches where life is plagued by ill-health and
squalid living conditions.
In November 2007, the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office in Mato Grosso do Sul signed an extrajudicial agreement called a TAC
(Termo de Ajustamento de Conduta), with FUNAI which committed it to identify and delimit 36 separate Guarani-Kaiowá
traditional lands by April 2010, for future demarcation. On 29 July, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office submitted a request to the
Federal State Court asking for the judicial execution of the TAC agreement. The Prosecutor’s Office requested that FUNAI comply
with the terms of the agreement within 60 days and failing to do that that the demarcation should be done by third parties to be
paid by FUNAI. They also requested that FUNAI pays the fine stipulated in the agreement for the delay in finalizing the
identification of the ancestral lands.
The ancestral lands that the Guarani Kaiowa have begun reoccupying should have already been surveyed by government
anthropologists to enable them to identify lands to be returned to the community, as outlined in an agreement signed in 2007.
However, farmers in the area have repeatedly blocked attempts to carry out the surveys necessary for identifying the land to be
returned.
Because of the ongoing failure to resolve outstanding land claims, several Guarani Kaiowa communities have ended up
reoccupying the lands, which have been followed by a series of violent evictions, often involving armed men. Irregular security
companies, many of whom are effectively acting as illegal militias in the service of landowners or agro-industry, have been
involved in many human rights abuses in rural Brazil and remain a serious threat to both Indigenous peoples and rural workers
fighting for their right to land.
Both the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which Brazil endorsed in 2007 and the International Labour
Organisation’s Convention 169 to which Brazil is a party, enshrine Indigenous People’s rights to their ancestral lands and call on
states to establish mechanisms whereby these rights can be adjudicated and recognized. The Brazilian constitution also affirms
Brazilian Indigenous People’s rights to their lands and the Union’s responsibility to demarcate them.
UA: 306/09 Index: AMR 19/012/2010 Issue Date: 10 September 2010

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