Xavante leaders claim the resumption of the explosion plan

Xavante leaders claim the resumption of the explosion plan

[9/20/2012 10:39]~ISA, Christiane |






Xavante warriors prepare to resume part of the territory in 2004


Removal of non-Indians Marãiwatséde indigenous land was halted by Justice last week. The explosion plan had already been presented by Funai to court Federal de Mato Grosso and actions should start in the coming days.

There are 46 years the Xavante Indians of Marãiwatséde awaiting their traditional territory definitely resume in Mato Grosso. But the wait will last a little longer. On Thursday (13), the Federal Regional Court of the first region (TRF1) suspended the withdrawal of non-Indians of the indigenous land (TI)

The decision was made by the Vice-President of the Court, Judge Daniel Paes Ribeiro, who rejected the lawsuit filed by the Association of rural producers of Johan Area-Missú (Aprosum). The evacuation of the area by non-Indians was determined by the TRF1 in May

The explosion was about to begin. Funai had already presented its plan to the Federal Court of Mato Grosso and, according to his plan, the first actions should start in the coming weeks.

The lobby against the return of land to the Xavante, however, gained momentum in recent days. A group of residents of the region came to Brasilia. The judge himself recorded in his decision that, on September 11, received in his office three representatives of a group of 300 women and children who would have spoken to the judge about the “atmosphere of imminent conflict” in the region. 

Before Daniel Paes Ribeiro, the Group had already met with parliamentarians and the Minister mato-grossenses Chief of staff, Legal Hoffman. At the meeting, the Minister mentioned the possibility of the Union suspend the approval of YOU, what would need to be examined by the Ministry of Justice and the President of the Republic.

To Adriana Ramos, Deputy Executive Secretary of the ISA, this is further evidence of disrespect for the rights of indigenous peoples in Brazil. “Never before in the history of this country has disregarded both the article 231 of the Constitution”, he says.

In an attempt to reverse the decision, this week a xavante group reached the federal capital to claim their rights. Ten leaders of Marãiwatséde, representing more than 800 Indians who retook part of it landed in Brasilia to tell the story of his people.

On Monday afternoon (9/17), went to the TRF1 for a conversation with Judge Daniel Paes. At the meeting, the leaders talked about the history of Marãiwatséde and showed to the magistrate that the data submitted by the families of squatters are not true.

“The Indians have shown to the judge that this land has always been theirs, they don’t intend to move and asked that he had to reassess its decision,” the Executive Secretary of the indigenous missionary Council (Cimi), Cleber Jeanie Raymond, who accompanied the group.

Many mis-matched information have been published in the press on the subject. For example, there would be no areas for relocation of non-indigenous families and they would be required to get the roadways.

The issue was included, however, in the explosion plan presented by the National Indian Foundation (Funai) to the Federal Court of Mato Grosso. According to the document, the National Institute of colonization and agrarian reform (Incra) will be responsible for the resettlement.

According to the plan, “Incra will act where applicable identifying the occupants who have the profile of customers of the agrarian reform”, in spite of all the squatters inside of it have been considered as “occupants of bad faith”. 

Another erroneous information realises that there would be more than seven thousand non-indigenous in Marãiwatséde. A cross of the State Secretariat of Environment of Mato Grosso (Ems-MT) and the Brazilian Institute of geography and statistics (IBGE), however, points out that non-Indians make up about 1.2 thousand, five times less.

“Political use is being made of this information by” ruralists “mato-grossenses”, accuses Jeanie Raymond.

The explosion has already

In the search for partnerships to fight for their rights, the Indians gathered on the afternoon of Tuesday (18/9) with the Parliamentary Commission on human rights and minorities of the Chamber of Deputies and with representatives from Funai.

“We came to settle the issue of land. We felt so much when he learned of this decision. Was happening to young people in the village ritual when they talked to people who had stopped again. There was everyone sad. But we will endure, “says Professor Carolina Rewaptu, one of the leaders of Marãiwatséde.

The expectation of the indigenous now is able to reverse the court order and enforce the decision to withdraw the invaders. Through its advisory, Funai reported that it will join with resource and that it expects the decision of the Vice President of TRF1 be reviewed soon.

“The decision only suspended the operation [explosion] until the Funai is heard. The institution is tralhando in defence and in the appeal to overturn the measure, “said the advice.

“We are confident that by showing the reality of the Xavante, Marãiwatséde, the decision to be reconsidered by the Court. And we also hope the Executive does not retract his decision against the pressures that representatives of agribusiness Mato Grosso have been doing “, reinforces Jeanie Raymond.

The Federal Public Ministry (MPF) reported that in the next few days will also challenge the decision of the Vice President of the TRF1.


Understand the case

Marãiwatséde is an example of the impacts of agricultural expansion
policy in Mato Grosso and State and private violence against indigenous
peoples. The threat to the xavante territory began in the Decade of 1940,
with the colonization of Western Brazil the Roncador-Xingu Expedition started.

Soon after, in 1960, came the construction of the Belém-Brasília highway.
In 1961, Marãiwatséde suffered its first invasion effectively, with the
installation of the Johan-Missú farm, which was considered “the greatest folwark
of Brazil”, with almost 1.5 million hectares. Formed by the colonizer Ariosto Riva
the cattle farm began in 1962, Ometto family hands and was subsequently acquired
by State-owned Italian oil company Agip.

In August 1966, the owners of the farm, along with representatives of the Indian
protection service (SPI)-federal agency responsible for the implementation of
indigenous policy, later replaced by Funai-struck a deal for the withdrawal of
the indigenous. The official explanation was the need to “Save” the Indians,
who were being rounded up and had no more access to water in the region.

With the aid of aircraft of the Brazilian air force (FAB), about 300 Xavante were
taken in absentia to the Salesian Mission St. mark, 400 miles South, where lived
many Xavante has “softened”. It is estimated that the forced transfer have killed,
only in the first two weeks, more than 100 Indians in an epidemic of measles. After
that, the residents of Marãiwatséde perambularam by other lands xavante until
they decide to fight for the resumption of traditional

In 1992, during the UN Conference on environment and development (Rio-92), the
Italian State-owned Agip Petroli, under great pressure, was forced to announce
the return of the territory to their real owners. From
that moment on, the federal Government initiated the procedures for demarcation,
while farmers in the region, backed by local politicians, began a campaign of
land occupation and deforestation, as well as a legal battle against the return
of the natives.

The approval process took place without the Xavante were there. The Decree was issued
in December 1998. It was a time of increased conflicts between Indians and non-Indians,
which disabled the Xavante take possession of the land. Only
in 2004, after 10 months camped on the edge of Highway BR-158 and amid protests
from local politicians and invaders, part of former residents returned to the
area and rebuilt the village where currently lives, occupying 15 thousand of 165
thousand hectares of indigenous land.

In 2012, the Xavante undertook to recall the years of struggle and expectation to
inhabit the entire traditional territory of his people, 20 years after the
promise of the return of land.



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