For Brazil Land Reform May Be Key to Peace for Indians

    The President of the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra), Rolf Hackbart, said this Tuesday, April 26, that only the agrarian reform would be able to reduce irregular occupation of indigenous land in Brazil.

    “The agrarian reform is a fundamental condition to avoid illegal occupation of indigenous territory. As land redistribution advances in the country, more people will have access to land and there will be less pressure on indigenous land,” evaluated Hackbart.


    These declarations were made during a hearing with approximately 500 Indians and representatives of the federal government and Public Ministry, at the Superior Justice Tribunal (STJ).


    Among other issues, indigenous people call for the Ministry of Justice immediate action to declare 14 territories indigenous land, as well as to remove farmers from the reservations already homologated.


    According to the Indianist Missionary Council (Cimi), 14 of the 54 indigenous territories homologated during President Lula’s administration are being occupied by non-Indians, especially by farmers, lumberers, miners, fisherpeople, and settlers.


    “It is necessary to ensure safety in our lands, so that we can live in peace in our tribes,” defended Jecinaldo Barbosa, General Coordinator of the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (Coiab).


    According to Barbosa, the presence of non-Indians on indigenous lands is the major cause of conflicts and violence in the area.


    The meeting is part of the Free Land indigenous mobilization being promoted by the Forum in Defense of Indigenous Rights (FDDI).


    Free Land is how the Indians named a settlement at the Ministries Esplanade, where, from Monday, April 25, through Friday, April 29,  approximately 700 indigenous people will participate on debates, cultural activities, and workshops.


    Agência Brasil

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