Demarcation of indigenous lands: a historical demand. Special interview with Cleber Buzatto
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Demarcation of indigenous lands: a historical demand. Special interview with Cleber Buzatto
“A total of 1046 indigenous lands, only one third of them is regulated, one-third are in procedure and other 300 indigenous lands claimed have not yet been granted by the Brazilian State. This is an urgent demand that continues “, says the Executive Secretary of the indigenous missionary Council-Cimi.
Check out the interview.
For 25 years, since the indigenous rights were guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic, 1988, recognition and demarcation of lands of communities have been the “historical demand” which is at the heart of conflicts with “ruralists” and the Brazilian State. “A total of 1046 indigenous lands, only one third of them is regulated, one-third are in procedure and other 300 claimed indigenous lands have not yet been granted by the Brazilian State,” Cleber Buzatto in an interview to IHU on-line, by phone.
When assessing the performance of indigenous communities, State Buzatto stresses that “there is a political decision by the Government to the Funai does not work, especially with regard to their responsibility to respond to the land demands of indigenous peoples in the country”. On the current economic situation, stresses, to guarantee the rights of traditional peoples “will depend on the degree of mobilization and articulation of indigenous peoples themselves. We are confident that the people will have more wisdom in this historic moment to commit these joints against their rights. We hope that the State and society to make this demand, and that rights become effective for people to have, from then, more worthy conditions of existence according to your own way of being. “
Cleber César Buzatto is graduated in philosophy. Currently works as Executive Secretary of the indigenous missionary Council-Cimi.
Check out the interview.
IHU on-line-Can draw a general picture of the indigenous situation in Brazil?
Cleber Buzatto -the question of indigenous peoples in Brazil reflects a sense of fairly large concern. From our point of view, there is an ongoing anti-Indian strategy that involves three obvious objectives in relation to attempt making the territories of indigenous peoples. The first concerns the new poison demarcations of traditional lands, which are still hijacked by non-indigenous; the second goal is to reopen the demarcation processes that have already been concluded for lands that are under indigenous ownership; and the third goal is to let the indigenous lands are explored and mercantilizadas. For each of these objectives we have identified a number of political and administrative instruments that are being implemented by the various Brazilian powers, especially by the Legislature and the Executive.
Among the tools used to accomplish such goals, I mention the PEC 215, whereby the “ruralists” want to transfer the power of demarcation of lands of the Executive to the legislature and thus have the power to decide whether a land is traditional or not. Regarding the second objective, the demarcation procedures to reopen, we have to the PEC and the Ordinance 203 215, an initiative of the Executive power, through the Attorney General of the Union-AGU, instruments that impose limits on the use of indigenous lands, limit the right of consent to notice on building projects that affect indigenous lands and opens the possibility of review and adjustment of demarcatórios procedures already finalized. These instruments create a serious legal instability for the indigenous peoples. In relation to the third goal, we can mention the PEC 237, which proposes that the Union can, through concession, pass 50% of the land demarcated indigenous to be exploited by agribusiness, the EN 1610, which deals with mineral exploration in indigenous lands, and the recent Decree 7957, Executive power in March 2013, which creates a force of repression for any manifestation contrary to projects that affect indigenous lands. An example of the application of that decree is the Tapajós Operation , which took place in the region of the Munduruku, and yesterday was suspended by a decision of the Federal Court.
IHU on-line-Since the promulgation of the Constitution of 1988, which are the main conquests and losses of indigenous peoples? There is a change in the posture of the State in relation to what the Constitution says?
Cleber Buzatto -the current Government option by developmental model, based on agribusiness and export of commodities, has favored the economic sectors involved in the exploitation of these resources. Then, the agribusiness industries that produce for export, generate dividends for the economy, and the mining-related sectors have been favored by the last structuring political Governments. This has increased the forces of sectors that historically, it largely are and who have sense, in this current economic climate a moment conducive to implement a more radical and violent attack against the rights that people have managed to conquer on the occasion of the Constitution of 1988, which completes 25 years.
In positive terms, we point out that the potential for mobilising the people remain and that, at the moment-on this juncture, following the example of what happened in the Decade of 1970, on the integration of indigenous peoples and on the military dictatorship – the mobilization potential needs to be fed enough to overcome the risks of possible setbacks conquered rights by the people.
IHU on-line-what are indigenous peoples who face more difficulties in relation to their rights?
Cleber Buzatto -with regard to the invasion of territories, there is the case of the Munduruku Indians, in Pará, who face a tough attack on the part of the Brazilian Government tries to enforce the construction of a hydroelectric complex against the wishes of the communities. On the other hand, the people of Guarani-Kaiowáin Mato Grosso do Sul, historically a deportation process lives of their territories, violence, killings of leaders, cultural acute vulnerability situation etc. There is also the situation of the Tupinambá, in the South of Bahia, who face difficulties to ensure their traditional land.
IHU on-line-what is the Union’s budget for indigenous peoples?
Cleber Buzatto -To the land issue, the Union’s budget is negligible. In recent years has been less than $ 20 million to respond to the demand of indigenous peoples from all over the country. And even this feature, which is considered too insignificant, has not been effectively used by the National Indian Foundation Funai-. In our view, this demonstrates that there is a political decision by the Government so that this foundation doesn’t work, especially with regard to their responsibility to respond to the land demands of indigenous peoples in the country.
IHU on-line-Funai is undermined by the State?
Cleber Buzatto -She is quite weak, and his performance is weakened by the indigenous peoples from different regions of the country. The organ has been falling short of the need and demand of indigenous peoples, especially with regard to land demand of the people. This retraction happens by a deliberate decision, a political decision of the Government not to make the move. This posture is considered an omission on the part of the Government: the more the Government cedes to the demands of agribusiness, agribusiness has shown that has no limit in its pressures and has risen up the tone of pressure against the Government.
IHU on-line-in recent years, the indigenous missionary Council-Cimi has denounced cases of suicide among indigenous peoples and health-related issues. What is your assessment of health care offered to the communities?
Cleber Buzatto -we have historically demonstrated that the issue of health care in indigenous peoples has been and, unfortunately, these last two and a half years, this deficiency was further increased. What we follow is a generalized claim of the indigenous peoples of Brazil, that indicate not only an inefficiency, but also irresponsible of the Special Secretariat of indigenous health-Sesai in terms of attention to the health of indigenous peoples in Brazil. We hope that, in this respect also, the Brazilian Government assume its responsibility and take effective legislation that ensures the differentiated service to people, with the presence of teams that can meet the communities according to their usages, customs and traditions.
IHU on-line-and in relation to education, what you can say?
Cleber Buzatto -in terms of education, the responsibility is decentralised. Has the responsibility of the federal Government, State Governments and municipalities. The great demand is that to take effect the structures and conditions for indigenous children and young people can attend school education in their villages, in the living space of people, so that you don’t have to leave their places of residence. To resolve this issue, the Government is trying to implement the program Technical and educational Areas. But so far this has not been effected in the different regions of the country.
IHU on-line-from the retrospective of indigenous policy conducted by the Presidency of the Republic in the last 10 years, as the Lord examines the relationship of the left with the problems of indigenous peoples?
Cleber Buzatto -Unfortunately, we were surprised and disappointed by the actions of past governments. There was a great expectation, not only by supporting authorities but also by indigenous peoples that, with the election of Lula, would streamline the administrative procedures of demarcation of indigenous lands. But what happened was just the opposite. From the Lula Government there was a decrease in the pace of demarcations and, now, with Dilma this is even slower.
People have demonstrated and expressed this predicament. This omission of Government in relation to the demands of indigenous peoples have contributed to the agendas of industries historically the country’s political right are potentiated, which also concerns us greatly, because, along with the guidelines, it largely, are the right political agendas.
IHU on-line-what is the urgency of the Brazilian public sphere? That would be a modern indigenous plan?
Cleber Buzatto -we understand that the central issue is still linked to this historical demand of indigenous peoples, which was not answered by the Brazilian State: recognition and demarcation of indigenous lands in the country. A total of 1046 indigenous lands, only one third of them is regulated, one-third are in procedure and other 300 indigenous lands claimed have not yet been granted by the Brazilian State. This is an urgent demand that continues today, and the State needs to take the political decision to settle this issue definitively. If this happens, a number of other situations such as conflicts, the killings of indigenous leaders, the attacks on communities will be gradually eased. Furthermore, this also would leave the quietest people to make their claims in relation to public health policies, education, sustainability in the spaces that will be marked. Then, the State needs to organize, create structures, have effective conditions to comply with what was laid down in articles 231 and 232 of the Brazilian Constitution.
IHU on-line-what prospects see to the indigenous question in Brazil, considering the construction of new dams and increased production of agribusiness?
Cleber Buzatto -we believe that the execution of duties, along with this demand to prevent them from being ripped as the economic climate will depend on the degree of mobilization and articulation of indigenous peoples themselves. We are confident that the people will have more wisdom in this historic moment to commit these joints against their rights. We hope that the State and society to make this demand, and that rights become effective for people to have, from then, more worthy conditions of existence according to your own way of being.