APIB denounces the U.N. the violation of rights


 Nov 24 2012

APIB denounces the U.N. the violation of rights

The national direction of the articulation of indigenous peoples in Brazil-APIB, represented by indigenous leader Uilton Tuxá– also APOINME Coordinator-self Commissioned Officers denounced the United Nations for Human Rights, the violation of rights and promoted genocide against indigenous peoples of Brazil, due to the indifference and inaction of the Government Dilma Rousseff.

The meeting took place at UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was handed over to present a document of APIB which highlights the PEC 215/00 303 Ordinance and the Attorney General of the Union (AGU) as legal instruments against the Convention 169 of the ILO and the United Nations Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.

Since the beginning of the month, on a trip through Europe, the leader Ananda Tuxá has denounced to several international organizations and world press the critical situation faced by the people of Brazil. The goal is to drum up international support for the awareness of our leaders about the urgent need for more effective measures to put an end to systematic violence victim daily indigenous men, women and children throughout the country.

Read the complete Letter of the APIB to the United Nations:


Geneva, November 13, 2012.

Subject: situation of indigenous rights in Brazil

To: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights

Articulation of indigenous peoples in Brazil (APIB) national indigenous organization composed by the main indigenous organizations in different regions of the country:

-The articulation of indigenous peoples of the Northeast and Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo APOINME,

-Coordination of indigenous organizations of the Brazilian Amazon- COIAB,

-Articulation of indigenous peoples of South- ARPINSUL,

-Articulation of indigenous peoples of South-East- ARPINSUDESTE,

-Articulation of indigenous peoples and the Pantanal region- ARPIPAN,

-Council Of Elders Guarani- ATY GUASU

Comes through this, to express his concern over the worsening human rights violation and fundamental of our indigenous people in Brazil.

The main objective of this document is to request that the United Nations system can intervene with the Brazilian State asking to acate their recommendations and take urgent measures to ensure respect for the rights of indigenous peoples, in accordance with international treaties as the Convention 169 ILO and UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, establishing the right of indigenous peoples to the informed consentprior and informed, often our rights are being violated by the Government of Brazil, despite the recommendations made by United Nations Special Rapporteur on indigenous issues on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples and of the Inter-American Commission on human rights (IACHR/OAS).

The Brazil has been seen in the world as one of the countries that has grown economically over the past decade, and therefore, left the condition of third world country, being part of the emerging countries, but even with the investment in the Family allowance program aimed at fighting hunger of the population that lives in extreme poverty situation there are still many poor families and the indigenous Brazilians are within this context of poverty.

We present in this paper an overview of the situation of indigenous peoples in Brazil:

Social rights

Respect for the constitutionally guaranteed rights of indigenous peoples is a reality that is far from being achieved, due to the absence of the adoption of a law regulating article 231 of the Constitution the lack of this Act against say the speeches of the leaders of the current Government and President Dilma Rousseff and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

According to the Census of 2010, conducted by the Brazilian Institute of geography and statistics (IBGE), there is a total population of indigenous 817,963 in all Brazil. Of these, at least 326,375 people are in a situation of extreme poverty (39.9%), which represents nearly four out of ten Indians. Unlike other segments of the Brazilian society with percentages well lower than the Indians following the example of the whites that their percentage reaches 4.7% and 10.0% blacks, it is worth mentioning that the indigenous peoples in Brazil represent only 0.04% of the total population of the country.

Earth and indigenous territories

The Brazilian Government has advantages to affirm that indigenous lands in Brazil are already almost fully demarcated, representing 95% of the indigenous lands, however, does not explain that this percentage is related almost exclusively on Amazon and some lands that were demarcated and others that were settled with the incentive of financial support for international cooperation significant and little investment of financial resources of the Government of Brazil.

The majority of the indigenous population that suffers and lives in a situation of extreme poverty are located exactly in the North (Amazon) and Midwest, and many cases occur in lands that have already been marked off by showing that it is not enough only demarcate indigenous lands without offering decent working conditions sustainable use of land, the indigenous peoples and communities as any other citizen need conditions of sustainability and protection of their territories. If conditions of poverty are visible in regions of the Earth, imagine then in other regions, like the South and northeast of the country, where many are not demarcated indigenous lands and still invaded by farmers.

Most of the indigenous peoples of Brazil is subject to vulnerabilities, due be suffering pressure on their lands, territories and natural resources because of the construction of large government economic development projects such as roads, small and large dams, water course in the transposition of the São Francisco River, electric power transmission networks, the intrusion of mining and logging, expansion of the agricultural frontier, the monoculture, the conflicts with owners and landowners.

As an example, we can mention some cases of indigenous peoples such as the Guarani Kaiowá people is located in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, the Pataxó people Huh-UH-Whales, Pataxó and Tupinambá, in the State of Bahia and the Xavantes tribe in the State of Mato Grosso. In the first case the Guarani Kaiowá are subjected to conditions of open discrimination and ethnocide. They live in extremely small areas these lands are being invaded by ranchers and gunmen, farmers and producers of monocultures such as soybeans, sugar cane and eucalyptus. The Earth Golden, the indigenous homicide rate is too high in relation to the conflict in the contest for land and there are cases in other indigenous peoples like the Pataxó Hãhãhãe in the State of Bahia, who are expecting more than 20 years ago that the Supreme Court of the Federal Court to resolve the situation of Brazilian territory, this year was tried on May 2, the Supreme Court dismissed and void the titles of properties that the Government of Bahia has granted farmers of the region, however the federal Government is responsible for the demarcation of indigenous lands in Brazil still has not done anything for the withdrawal of several farmers of Indian territory.

The case of the Xavante people in the State of Mato Grosso is revealing the purpose of hegemonic classes of blatantly violating the constitutional rights of indigenous peoples, which, under the laws of the country are the responsibility of the federal Government. The Maraiwatséde indigenous land was approved in 1998, entitled permanent possession and exclusive use of the Xavante people, however, the federal Government, through the indigenous body, the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), did not withdraw the farmers so far, to the dismay of the Xavante people, as if that wasn’t enough recently, the Legislative Assembly of the State of Mato Grosso, has approved a bill proposing that the Xavante are transferred to a State Park for which producers and non-indigenous farmers remain in the Indian territory. In addition, as the Kaiowá in southern region of the country there is about 50 camps waiting for the demarcation of indigenous or traditional territory waiting for intrusion.

As you can see the fate of the indigenous peoples of Brazil is threatened, because we know that without land and territories assured and protection and sustainability conditions without any prospect of life of indigenous peoples become unviable.


Regarding infrastructure development projects of the Brazilian Government, at least 434 should affect indigenous territories of these, we highlight two megaprojects: the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant in the Amazon region and transposition of the São Francisco River, in the northeast of the country, in both cases, the Brazilian Government has not respected the right of indigenous peoples to free, prior and informed consent.

The Belo Monte project, resists more than 20 years ago was not executed because of the struggle of the indigenous people will be affected, this project is considered a major environmental tragedy that will bring great social problems for the people who will be impacted, it will flood an area of 500 square kilometers.

The diversion of the waters of the Xingu River, in the State of Pará, leave without water, no fish and no means of river transport, indigenous peoples and traditional communities, especially those located in an area of up to 130 kilometers, the project will impact these communities in their traditional forms of production and culture of the region, without citing the conflicts and social problems that will be caused by immigration from 20 thousand workers from various regions of the country in search of work and better living conditions.

The transposition of the São Francisco River to the States of Pernambuco, Paraíba, Ceará and Rio Grande do Norte, which supposedly would bring water to the needy population of these States is really intended as a project that aims to promote and meet the demands of agribusiness and economic and political interests to other sectors.

The São Francisco River from its birth to the mouth, passes through traditional territories occupied by more than 9000 years by indigenous peoples in the Northeast region. Has an extension of 2,800 km and its basin there are 32 indigenous people occupying 38 traditional territory of the following people: Kaxagó, Kariri Xoco-Tingui-Boto,, Akona, Karapotó, Geripancó, Katokin, Koiupanká, Xoco, Karuazu, Kalankó, Pankararu Fulni-ô,, Xucuru-Kariri, Pankaiuká, Tuxá, Pipipã, Kambiwá, Kapinawá, Pankará, Xukuru, Tupan, Truká, Family, Kantaruré, Tumbalalá, Pankaru, Atikum, Kiriri, Xacriabá, Kaxixó and Pataxó, with population of approximately 70,000.

The São Francisco River to these people is of vital importance to their physical and cultural survival, both for the continuity of its rituals and culture. However, the Government ignores all that context and especially the cry of repudiation of these indigenous and non-indigenous people and decided to authorize the deployment of the project works, violating the right to prior consultation.

In Brazil, the Convention 169 of the ILO is not respected and so it applies an example of violation is the fact that occurred in 2011 when the Inter-American Commission on human rights (IACHR) asked the Brazilian Government to suspend the process of licensing and construction of Belo Monte while not properly consulting the indigenous peoples concerned.

Then the Brazilian Government informed we are slanderously reported in April 5 that he had fulfilled his institutional role to clarify to consult indigenous communities. When in fact there were meetings of socialization of simple information that are manipulated to be characterized as queries, even events marked by reports of Division and practices of co-opting or distortion of indigenous leaders.

Clear is lacking “good faith” on the part of the State, there is no political will to accept that indigenous peoples mow actually consulted about projects that will impact them and they are also involved in decision-making about the “legislative and administrative measures that may affect them directly”.

Criminalization, health and other aspects

The violation of indigenous rights in Brazil is worrying in all aspects according to the latest annual report of the indigenous missionary Council (Cimi), published in June 30, 2011, 92 children died in 2010 due to lack of medical care, 60 Indians were killed and there are 152 death threats. Of the 60 Indians killed, 34 were in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, where are located the Guarani Kaiowá.

The health care of indigenous peoples is poor, the Special Secretariat of indigenous health, created in 2010 can’t function properly and has a structure insufficient to promote adequate basic health care, the same is repeated with the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) that, despite the promise of being restructured parta improve their actions in the bases mainly in the processes of land regularization of indigenous territory still cannot identify such changes. In fact the indigenous body goes through a purposeful scrapping the Government not just to go along in demarcations of land.

Indigenous rights

In the aspect of indigenous rights are more than 20 years expect the Brazilian National Congress approves the new Statute of indigenous peoples that is processed under no. 760/PL 2011 which proposes to regulate articles 231 and 232 of the Federal Constitution of Brazil that deals with indigenous rights. We look forward to the adoption of Bill No. 3571/2008 PL that creating the National Indigenous Policy Council (CNPI), which clears the House of representatives. These applications are not legislative in Congress due to lack of commitment of the current Government that it does not actually want to pass laws that guarantee our rights because of the interest of exploring our traditional territory through the projects of the growth Acceleration Plan (PAC).

Legislative anti indigenous claims

PEC 215/2000. Contrary to expected, indigenous rights protection was adopted on 21 March this year, the Committee on Constitution and justice (CCJ) of the Chamber of Deputies, the admissibility of the proposed amendment to the Constitution (PEC) 215/00. The SGP has the purpose of transfer to the National Congress the authority to approve the demarcation of indigenous lands, the establishment of conservation units and quilombo land titling, which is the responsibility of the Executive Branch, by means of FUNAI, Ibama and the Palmares Cultural Foundation (FCP), respectively. The approval of the PEC 215 – as well as the PEC 038/99, pending in the Senate, threaten the already demarcated indigenous lands and prevents any possible future demarcation. The risk is great since the National Congress is composed mostly of representatives of powerful economic sectors sponsors of the current development model.

Mining project PL 1610/1996. The mining Caucus, composed of parliamentarians allied base of Government, is intended to pass the Bill (PL) 1610/96 which deals with mineral exploration on indigenous lands. The rapporteur’s text ignores completely safeguards for protecting territorial integrity, social, cultural and spiritual indigenous peoples, would simplify the search authorization and mineral mining in Indian lands, with enough amenities and conditions that allow easy and resulted in profit of the enterprises involved. That is, the text concerns itself only, so outrageous, to provide indigenous lands and their potential financial-speculative capital, mainly coal miner. Creates the conditions for the race, the great mining, uncontrolled by the gold in the indigenous territories; enacts the attack on uncontacted indigenous peoples or of little contact, when submitting his fate to the principles of national security; establishes or laughable way away from the involvement of Federal prosecutors their role of protecting indigenous rights; buries the autonomy of indigenous peoples, when submitting its decision not want mining to decision of a deliberative Government Commission which should say which is the best proposal for the communities, reviving the paternalistic and authoritarian, tutelary indigeneity. Anyway, minimize the scope of the right of consultation established by the Federal Constitution and the Convention 169 of the ILO;

Peoples and indigenous organizations are opposed to this project, by the damages that may result, and claim that the subject of mining is dealt with in the text of the Statute of indigenous peoples, discussed and widely consensuando by the indigenous movement with the Federal Government in the years 2008 and 2009.

Administrative and legal measures contrary to indigenous rights

The Federal Government has published in the past two years a series of decrees and ordinances that aims to derail the demarcation of lands claimed by indigenous peoples and the opening of the territories and their natural resources to overexploitation by national and transnational speculative financial capital. We can distinguish between those measures as follows:

2498/2011 Ordinance aimed at the participation of federated entities (States and municipalities) in the process of identification and demarcation of indigenous lands; When editing this measure, the Government ignored the Decree 1775/96 laying down the procedures for the demarcation of indigenous lands and that already guarantees the right of contradictory argued for the creation of this Ordinance.

419/2011 Ordinance, regulating the actions of indigenous body, the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) in term whimsy, in environmental licensing processes, to facilitate the implementation of undertakings of the growth acceleration program – PAC (hydroelectric power, mining, ports, waterways, roads, transmission lines, etc.) in the indigenous territories.

Decree 303/2012, which proposes to “standardize” the actions of the Federal Government’s legal bodies direct and indirect in relation to the institutional safeguards to Indian lands. Given the desire of landowners and agribusiness, the gatehouse, in fact, seeks to extend to all indigenous lands the conditions decided by the Supreme Court (STF) in the lawsuit against the Raposa Serra do Sol indigenous land (3,888-Roraima Petition/STF). The Government issued the Ordinance even though the Supreme Court’s decision on the motion for the Raposa Serra do Sol has not yet made a final decision and these conditions may undergo modifications, or even being removed by the Supreme Court. The Ordinance states that indigenous lands can be occupied by units, posts and other military interventions, loops roads, hydropower and minerals of strategic nature, without consulting the indigenous peoples and communities and FUNAI; determines the revision of demarcations demarcated already in progress or that are not in accordance with what the SUPREME COURT decided the case of Raposa Serra do Sol indigenous land; attacks the autonomy of indigenous peoples on their territories; limits and establishes the right of indigenous peoples to the exclusive use of natural resources in indigenous lands provided by the Federal Constitution; transfers to the Chico Mendes Institute for biodiversity conservation (ICMBIO) control of indigenous lands, on which are superimposed and illegally improper conservation units (UCs); and creates problems for the revision of demarcated indigenous land boundaries, which did not observe fully the indigenous law on traditional occupation.


On the situation of the indigenous peoples of Brazil (APIB) comes along to Human Rights mechanisms of the United Nations, claim necessary measures for more rigorous monitoring of the situation of indigenous rights in Brazil, and over all the violations of these rights, perhaps allowing joint action with various rapporteurs, promoting, for example, a joint mission with the Committee of experts on the application of conventions and recommendations (CEACR)to verify the implementation of the Convention 169 of the ILO and the United Nations Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.

In this occasion we would like to suggest that the United Nations create a free online language translation system so that any follow-up to UN member countries who do not speak an official language may also make their complaints as is our case of the indigenous peoples of Brazil.

Confident count on your support and attention we said goodbye at the same time that we make ourselves available to clarify any question addressed in this document.


Manuel Maria dos Santos/Indigenous People Tuxá

By the National Directorate for Coordination of indigenous peoples of Brazil – APIB




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