The permanent siege against indigenous people promoted by agribusiness in Mato Grosso do Sul resulted in another episode of violence, according to Aty Guasu, the main representative entity of the Guarani Kaiowá.
She claims that military police and gunmen hired by ranchers expelled indigenous people who had just retaken the Guapoy territory, in the municipality of Amambaí (MS).
According to reports from indigenous people, the action took place in the early hours of this Friday (24). Police officers fired rubber bullets and left at least six indigenous people injured. Two of them needed to be taken to a hospital in Campo Grande (MS), because of the severity of their injuries. Aty Guasu released photos of unconscious and bleeding victims. There were reports of two dead, but the information was not confirmed. Three police officers were injured, according to local media.
On social media, Aty Guasu wrote that the police did not present a court order for repossession and, therefore, consider the action illegal. The organization also reported that police officers would have tried to prevent the treatment of two wounded in a hospital in Amambai (MS). In a note, the indigenous entity asked that “the right to life be respected and that the demarcation [da terra indígena] be carried out”.
Fear of a new massacre
The Indigenous Missionary Council (Cimi), an agency linked to the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB), says it fears that the conflict “evolves quickly” into a new massacre against the Guarani Kaiowá, such as the one in Caarapó (MS), in 2016. At the time, farmers reacted after indigenous people took back the Yvu Farm. About 100 armed men invaded the territory, killed one indigenous person and wounded at least six others.
“CIMI urgently asks for the involvement of federal agencies, as well as the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), in order to control the situation and investigate the episodes”, wrote the indigenist entity. The Federal Police (PF) said it would send officers to the scene.
Cimi points out that the Indigenous Land (TI) Amambaí is the second most populous in Mato Grosso do Sul, with 10,000 indigenous people. The Guapoy territory, retaken yesterday afternoon (23), is considered by the Guarani Kaiowá to be an ancestral land that was left out of the demarcation of the Indigenous Land. In a post on social media, Aty Guasu wrote that the territory was “invaded and stolen by farmers”.
In the region marked by violence, tensions increased after the murder of an 18-year-old Guarani indigenous person on May 21. According to Cimi, Alex Lopes was killed when he went to collect firewood on the edge of the Taquaperi TI, where he lived. He would have been hit by five shots and had his body taken to the other side of the border with Paraguay, which is about 10 kilometers from the place of death. So far no one has been arrested and the case remains unsolved.
Apib blames Tebet and “agrobanditism”
Born in Mato Grosso do Sul, the coordinator of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (Apib), Eloy Terena, stated that, in the state, the “rule of law has failed”. “The military police, in a regime of private militia of the landowners, promotes evictions without a court order. It’s become routine. A state where Agrobanditism prevails at the cost of indigenous blood,” the lawyer posted on his Twitter profile.
Guarani Kaiowa under attack in Mato Grosso do Sul. Every day we experience indigenous genocide. Violence only increases with the omission of the @STF_oficial in judging the time frame and the permanence of Marcelo Xavier in the @funaioficial ANTI INDIGENOUS pic.twitter.com/THju2aXrYW
– Eloy Terena (@luizeloyterena) June 24, 2022
Terena also blamed governor Reinaldo Azambuja (PSDB) and senator and pre-candidate for the presidency of the republic Simone Tebet (MDB), whose political base is in Mato Grosso do Sul.
“The police in the state of Governor Azambuja and Senator Simone Tebet are currently attacking the Guarani Kaiowá! Under the argument of complying with the law, they are acting without a court order, defying the decision of the STF”, published the indigenous leader.
Editing: Rodrigo Durao Coelho