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Heirs to Brazil’s Guarani Mission Vow to Reoccupy Their Lands

About 250 Kaingang, Guarani and Charrua indigenous people from Brazil performed rituals in memory of the death of Sepé Tiaraju 251 years ago on February 7 in São Gabriel, state of Rio Grande do Sul.

They performed rituals in Sanga da Bica, where the Guarani leader died, and Coxilha do Caiboaté, where 1500 Guarani were murdered by Portuguese and Spanish troops on February 10, 1756.

In the afternoon, the group visited a camp of the Landless Movement (MST) next to the Southall farm and showed solidarity to the almost 300 families camped there to press for the area to be expropriated.

Attended by indigenous communities from Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and Argentina, the gathering strengthens the continental struggle of the Guarani people and contributes toward organizing their struggle for a land of their own.

The Kainkang and Charrua also reaffirmed that they will carry out joint actions for the purpose of reoccupying their lands.

Evergelino Nascimento, the vice-chief of the Kaigang who lives in an indigenous reservation in Lajeado, was deeply touched when he visited the location where the indigenous people died fighting for their land.

Evergelino was born in a reservation in the city of Nonoai, but he said that he left the place because of its precarious physical and basic sanitation framework.

"I was thinking to myself that when Sepé was here this place was a forest, that perhaps there was a pine tree here, there was game, all kinds of animals. And now all we see is a farm without a single pine tree. This is why Sepé was butchered, for defending his culture, his forest," he said.

There are ten indigenous camps alongside highways in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Altogether, there are about 25 Guarani communities in the State, most of which concentrated in the Larger Porto Alegre area and on the shore.

The Kaingang also have about 20 communities mainly located in north region of the State. The Charrua da Capital community is fighting today for 10 hectares of land in the city, but there are other members of this community in the region of Bagé. (Raquel Casiragui, Chasque Agency, state of Rio Grande do Sul)

Cimi

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