AMERICA/BRAZIL - Indigenous delegations to the Ministry of Justice: We are experiencing great difficulties

Thursday, 6 July 2017 indigenous   evangelization   human rights   violence  

Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) - On 4 July, the delegations of the Pataxó, Tupinambá and Kaingang peoples submitted requests to the Ministry of Justice in Brasilia, to the Federal Senate Commission for Human Rights and to the Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health (SESAI). The group of 50 leaders protested on the demarcation of traditional lands, for moral and sexual harassment regarding employees at the indigenous health agencies in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, and filed an application for an inquiry into indigenous health services in Bahia.
"Every time I sit and talk to the Secretary, he always says the same thing: he writes, promises and never takes action", says chief Xaerru Pataxó of the Caciana village of Porto Seguro in the note sent to Fides by the PMS of Brazil. "We want to know what the Secretary has decided to do. We are experiencing great difficulties".
Regarding the requests, we talked about the budget cuts that the Ministry of Justice suffered in recent months. The same Minister said that there are legal issues involving the demarcation of indigenous lands and suggested that indigenous lands become "economically productive".
Land problem in Brazil is not just a problem for indigenous peoples, and it was the cause of much violence: in 2016 1,295 cases of land conflicts were registered and 61 murders were also committed, with a 22% increase compared to the number of murders in the previous year (see Fides 19/04/2017). (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 06/07/2017)