08 Dec 2016 Violence against the Indigenous Peoples in Brazil
Cases of violence against the indigenous population in Brazil during the year 2015, gathered by Rosalux partner Cimi
It is with a feeling of the most profound indignation that the Indigenist Missionary Council (Conselho Indigenista Missionário – Cimi) presents this report on Violence against the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil with the data for the respective occurrences in 2015.
Indignation – because the same criminal practices are being repeated and intensified, an no effective measures against this are taken. The situation of omission on the part of the authorities continues; they deny their respect for the Constitution and fail to comply with its provisions in regard to the demarcation, protection and surveillance of the lands; the reality of aggression against persons who struggle for their legitimate rights persists in the form of assassinations, beatings, threats; the attacks against communities grow worse, especially those against the more fragile ones and those that live in camps; the invasion and devastation of the demarcated lands goes on.
Unfortunately, we are still living with periods of extreme suffering and uncertainty as to the future possibilities. We mourn when we denounce the premature deaths of hundreds of indigenous infants for lack of due medical care, for lack of basic sanitation, for lack of a place to live, of clean water to drink and bathe; we denounce the assassination of leaders who fought in defense of their peoples and communities; we denounce the confinement in reservations where they are denied the most fundamental right, the right to the land to live in and exercise their indigenous citizenship, cultures, and traditions; we denounce the devastation of the environment by loggers, artisanal miners, mining companies, hydroelectric dams and plants; we denounce the inhuman reality of hundreds of communities reduced to living at the sides of highways; we denounce the judicial authorities who have given priority in their judgments to the defense of property – often neither legitimate nor legal property – to the detriment of the original rights of the indigenous peoples.
For indigenous peoples the land is not an economic asset, but a gift of God and of their ancestors; it is a sacred space. In indigenous cosmology, it is they who belong to the Earth and not the other way round, because the Earth is a mother, it is life itself. Belonging to the Earth instead of the earth belonging to them is what defines the indigenous people. Those sacred spaces, however, are violated by an economic model that is both homogenizing and excluding so that people no longer “know how to live in honesty, but instead by extortion and exploitation, hoarding up riches in their homes” (according to Amos 3,10), to the detriment of life itself.
We believe this report will serve as an instrument in the search for solutions for the extremely serious problems that affect the existence and the dignity of the indigenous peoples, because that is essentially its function. However, should that not occur, we will insist in the denunciations and continue to fight against injustice. Cimi is committed to serving the cause of the indigenous peoples.
Report: Violence against the Indigenous Peoples in Brazil – Data for 2015
Conselho Indigenista Missionário – Cimi