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Attacks on Guarani and Kaiowá escalate with conclusion of UN Rapporteur visit

The UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples expresses alarm over the escalation of attacks following her visit this month in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.

Following the conclusion of her visit to Brazil, the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples Ms. Victoria Tauli Corpuz has expressed deep concerns over the escalation of attacks in the region. In an End of Mission Statement released last week, Ms Corpuz stressed it was alarming that some assaults, involving shootings and leading to the injury of some indigenous peoples in the communities of Kurusu Amba, Dourados and Taquara, followed her visits to these areas.

Evictions and continuous assaults are leading some communities to a critical situation. In a joint visit this week by members of CIMI, FIAN International and its Brazilian and German Sections, it was observed that the Kurusu Ambá indigenous community is facing a humanitarian crisis. Affecting especially children, part of the community currently has no access to food and water, and relies on only irregular assistance by the Fundação Nacional do Índio (FUNAI).

Last January 31, the community attempted to recover a part of their ancestral territory. In response,  the Facenderos, currently controlling the land, reacted by sending armed groups in 15 vans and fired weapons at members of the entire community. Around 30 houses were burned and the rest of their properties completely destroyed by agricultural trucks. Attacks and harassment have been increasing since, particularly after the visit of the UN Rapporteur.  “We only want peace and our children going to school. We want our land and we reject violence,” says a member of the community.

According to CIMI, in 2007, 92 indigenous leaders were murdered. This number has been increasing throughout the last years, reaching a peak of 138 killings in 2014. Currently, Mato Grosso do Sul accounts for the highest number of deaths of indigenous peoples in Brazil.

CIMI, FIAN International and its Brazilian and German Sections call on the State of Brazil to take action and establish the necessary measures for the attacks to stop. In addition, the organizations urge Brazil to provide immediate assistance to the communities that face a humanitarian crisis, including Kurusu Amba.

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