AMERICA/BRAZIL - CIMI denounces violence against the Indigenous in Minas Gerais, a missionary threatened

Friday, 30 September 2016 violence   indigenous   armed groups   missionary animation  

Minas Gerais (Agenzia Fides) - The Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) denounces and condemns the attack of 23 September by farmers (fazendeiros) and gunmen against Xakriabá indigenous communities of Vargem Grande, in the municipality of Itacarambi in the north state of Minas Gerais. During that episode of violence a young native was injured with stones and pieces of wood, the officials of the Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health (SESAI) were threatened and the missionary of CIMI, layman Nilton Santos Seixas, was attacked, but managed to escape. For security reasons, Nilton was forced to move with his family, leaving his residence in the city of Itacarambi.
"There are strong indications that these paramilitary attacks against indigenous peoples are on the rise and are intensifying within the country" said the statement by CIMI sent to Fides. The situation in the area remains tense. "We strongly believe that those responsible for the attack on the Xakriabá communities are to be immediately identified. Every omission of the Brazilian government in this regard can serve as fuel for new attacks, perhaps even more serious, against indigenous peoples and their allies in this and other regions of the country". The statement concludes: "CIMI expresses solidarity towards the Xakriabá people, officials and to Nilton Santos Seixas and his family for the incident". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 30/09/2016)