Indians Invade and Take Land Where Brazil Started 500 Years Ago

    Right where Brazil’s colonization process began, five centuries ago; right where the official commemorations to celebrate the "discovery" turned into an international fiasco six years ago, the Pataxó people continue to fight for their lands.

    Families in the Coroa Vermelha repossessed lands in the municipality of Santa Cruz de Cabrália, Bahia, in the early hours of Saturday, June 17.

    Coroa Vermelha is a ratified, registered land, but non-indigenous people live there, there is intense tourism and the number of real estate projects linked to this activity is growing.

    Parts of the land that remained outside the demarcation process, and which are claimed by the indigenous people, also have a strong influence on the real estate and tourism markets.

    During the last 15 days, the Pataxó of Coroa Vermelha have occupied other lands and carried out mobilizations to pressure the National Foundation for Indigenous People (Funai) to improve the health service.

    Indian Women Meet

    One more important event in the struggle of the Guarani-Kaiowá to be granted their rights: an Aty Guasu (large meeting), which started Wednesday, June 21, coordinated by the women. The encounter will involve the participation of representatives of the regional and national indigenous women’s movement.

    These women, who are always present in repossession actions, public debates, indigenous schools, camped at the roadside and in their homes – when there is land to build them on -, will, during the meeting, evaluate their contribution to their people’s struggles for land and survival.

    The meeting will take place in the Nhande Ru Marangatu land, where dozens of women are trying to keep their people united in spite of having had to work at the side of a highway for the last six months, since December 15, 2005, they had to face an armed battalion who have been given orders to expel them from their land.

    Cimi – Indianist Missionary Council – www.cimi.org.br

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