AMERICA/BRAZIL - The Bishops’ warning: Too much violence in Mato Grosso

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Mato Grosso do Sul (Agenzia Fides) - " Injustice generates more violence!" say the Bishops of the Western Region (Mato Grosso do Sul), in a statement issued on June 5 on the resurgence of the clash of land in the region in Mato Grosso do Sul. The indigenous people of Mato Grosso ask for the restitution of the lands that belonged to their ancestors, but they clash with the interests of those who purchased them and produce soybeans. The protest which is being held in these days, which has now extended in 3 States, has degenerated into violence and caused at least one death and several injuries. The federal government has decided to send soldiers in the area.
"The painful conflict that has for decades opposed farmers and indigenous people, each year causes victims on both sides," says the statement sent to Fides. "We realized a long time ago (with a statement published in 2009) that one cannot prolong this state of things, that humbles us before the world public opinion, because terrible injustice is being committed against a large number of Brazilians. injustice always generates violence."
The Bishops also point out that "not only the Brazilian territory, but also Mato Grosso do Sul is indigenous land. So it is a duty that involves the whole society - represented by its government - to provide indigenous peoples the conditions that make them subjects and protagonists of their own development, rather than keeping them in economic and social dependence that denigrates their dignity as human beings."
"Therefore, while we ask the civil, judicial and military authorities to be guided by justice and wisdom in adopting urgent concrete measures, we call on all people of good will - indigenous, peasants and members of the bodies involved in the conflict - to dialogue to solve the problem, and not to continue to stain with blood the land of our State. "
The document concludes by asking to "find a right and lasting solution to the indigenous question in Mato Grosso do Sul, respecting the right and the welfare of all. If land occupations generate a climate of legal and social uncertainty, the status quo is a powder keg that constantly threatens to explode." (CE) (Agenzia Fides 06/06/2013)