The obligation of the State to consult the indigenous peoples
The obligation of the State to consult the indigenous peoples
Posted by luisnassif, Mon, 4/22/2013-09:50
“Until the establishment of 88, Funai was tutor, the Indians were considered legally incapable. But the tutelage is over there. Funai is a government agency, represents. They represent themselves, have their movements. There are more than 400 indigenous organizations today in Brazil. “
“Prejudice against the Indians is still alive”
By Daniela Chiaretti
“There is a historical bias against indigenous peoples that is still very much alive,” says anthropologist and demógrafa Marta Maria of Amaral Azevedo, almost a year ago as President of the National Indian Foundation, Funai. “We believe that knowing more, the bias decreases. As indigenous peoples live and will continue living in the Brazilian territory is a matter that concerns all of us. “
There are about 250 ethnic groups and 800 thousand Indians in Brazil, according to the self-proclaimed “Indian Brazil”, publication that Funai and IBGE throw today. Of these, 500 thousand live in indigenous lands and 300 thousand does not recognize as belonging to a specific people. Suffer pressure from the expansion of the agricultural frontier, mining, infrastructure projects, land conflicts. “In regions where the economic occupation is older, there are more problems. Was a liability that is beginning to emerge now, “he says.
Funai is in the midst of this shooting. In this interview with Value, Marta Azevedo rebate criticism that the licensing delays, says that a goal of the current indigenous policy is to reduce the inequality between the indicators of these peoples and of non-indigenous and States that Funai was abandoned in previous Governments. “We’re doing a restructuring and it is very recent.”
Value: There is criticism of the Funai of lack of agility in the licensing process. What do you think of them?
Marta Maria of Amaral Azevedo:Are completely misplaced. Funai has obeyed all statutory deadlines stipulated by the regulations of the environmental licensing. We are not a licensing body, participated in the analysis of the indigenous component. And this is very recent. Was the former President Marcio Meira as the restructuring of Funai, created a small technical structure for thinking about this question. Before this was done in a way. Funai was dialogue with the indigenous peoples, as it always has been her role, but did not have a technical procedure with deadlines and standards for reports and studies. In 2012 we created a general licensing specific coordination. We are increasing the number of technical teams, but I think that there is still no master’s degree or doctorate in University that specialized anthropologists, biologists and foresters in the indigenous component of the environmental licensing. But the Government has valued the action of Funai in licensing processes.
Marta:Funai is the body that coordinates and organises the indigenous policy of the State. We are called to the meetings that have anything to do with the issue. The federal Government believes that the participation of Funai gives time, voice and visibility to the indigenous question in all processes that have an impact on these people, we give smoothness to these processes. Do the terms of reference for the environmental impact studies that the entrepreneur hires and we study and evaluate the indigenous component.
Value: Because it is said that Funai has been or is so controversial?
Marta:There is Funai controversies. What generates controversy, and there is a question not only of the federal Government, but of the Brazilian society, are models of development, the presence of indigenous peoples in a State, as they will get. Issues that affect us all.
Value: Why the indigenous question is so complicated?
Marta:Until the Constitution of 1988, the Indians in Brazil were seen as a category that would integrate into national society. It was once thought: “we about a village for those Indians while they learn Portuguese and learn to live in the city, as non-Indians.” Unfortunately until today there are many people that still has this view, that the Indians are forced to join the national society and to live the same way as any person in any city.
Value: Why is it a bad eyesight?
Marta:Because it is colonialist. That are required, when they have the right. Have the right to live in the city if they want to, right to come and go like any other citizen. This vision to compel the native people to live like Western people is something that changed the world, not only in Brazil. Guaranteed by the Federal Constitution, the Indians have right to live in their own way, speak their languages, their beliefs, their economy. The future will depend on each one of these people, how they are organized, how they think the future together to Brazilians. And there is another problem here.
Marta:All indigenous peoples have lost population until 1960 and then began to have a recovery. The population increase exerts pressure on the demand for land. Many times it scares the staff that is outside the Legal Amazon.
Value: What is the difference?
Marta:After setting up indigenous lands were demarcated with other criteria. Was no longer just a fence around the houses, but it was to demarcate land for farm use, hunting and fishing, for physical and cultural survival of indigenous peoples. Until 2000, the priority was given to demarcate in legal Amazon and with this design. But out there we have are very small portions of demarcated lands and with the design of the settlement. In regions where economic occupation is older, there are more problems. Was a liability that is beginning to emerge now.
Value: The guarani kaiowá are an example?
Marta:Exactly. The Mato Grosso do Sul was created in 1978 and came the boom of the development of the State with soy and cattle, the opening of farms. Guarani kaiowá lived in these communities man where the farms were opened. They then were taken from there and placed in eight demarcated in 1917, reservations, 1925. These areas were so that the Indians were being placed there when the State or Union titulava or farms when they were sold. There was a claims, they were taken from their traditional places and played in the reserves. This process continued to happen in 90 years very little action of the State and federal governments. Now then, if you have a huge liability in this matter. The problem was getting to the front and was swelled. And now, the generation that was taken of these places originating in, which is now 60, 70 years, says he wants to die at the place where it was born. It has always been said to them that one day they could return.
Value: Funai is solving?
Marta:We have identification procedures of these ancient territories, already published one of the reports, we will publish other. Is a very complex issue. Where we have these ancient territories the State already created, or the Union, or the farmer bought, is difficult. We have tried to do a dialogue both with the State Government as parliamentarians to find a peaceful solution to the guarani kaiowá. Is a priority of my administration, because I believe that is one of the people with the greatest indicator of vulnerability.
Value: The land conflict lies at the heart of the difficulty in resolving the indigenous question in Brazil?
Marta:Not only. Our policy is to distinguish between indigenous land, but not only that. We have to think along with the indigenous peoples what to do with the territories, how to make environmental and territorial management of these lands. The other major mission of current indigenous policy of the federal Government is to improve the quality of life of these people, their health, indicators of food security. Decrease the inequality which exists between the indigenous peoples and indicators of non-indigenous. We have to ensure to the Indians, for example, their right to documentation. It seems a silly detail, but the Indians were prohibited from putting their own names in their languages. If iam studying in a school, the school did not accept the registration, because he said that that was a very weird name. We try to ensure they have this right, that schools teach in the mother tongue, productive activities that take into account their traditional knowledge. On June 5, President Dilma signed the National Policy of Environmental and Territorial Management (PNGAT) which is just that, the principles of Brazilian indigenous policy. We have to know, respect and take into account traditional knowledge of these people and they formulate environmental and territorial management plans for indigenous lands.
Value: How do you see the threats that are about the Indians today? There is pressure from the mining, the PEC, the occupation around …
Marta:Are threats. There is a historical bias against indigenous peoples that is still very much alive. We believe that knowing more, having a dialogue, the bias decreases. Threats depend on from place to place, but they are grounded by lack of knowledge. As indigenous peoples live and will continue living in the Brazilian territory is a matter that concerns us all.
Value: Another point of tension are the development projects.
Marta:Whenever there are these projects, Funai is called to try to bring the Indians to this conversation. And understand where these projects will impact and see together with the Indians how to make. If there is a “light for All” have to do with them as the light will reach the villages, as will pay, as will be the maintenance of the lines. Indigenous peoples must participate as subjects of these projects and not only as recipients.
Value: That Funai has flaws?
Marta:There were many years of very little appreciation of the institution. Was released, without any contest. Restructuring is very recent, 2009, 2010. Opened a contest because much of 3 thousand Funai servers retires in July. We have some 600 vacancies and now we are making steps to get open new competitions. There are specific areas that we want to strengthen, as the environmental licensing and the social area. Now we are on a mission to qualify and increase our presence in the regions, in 38 regional coordination. This is absolutely essential, is where the Indians have their needs.
Value: But it does not represent the Indians, this is another mess, no?
Marta:Until the establishment of 88, Funai was tutor, the Indians were considered legally incapable. But the tutelage is over there. Funai is a government agency, represents. They represent themselves, have their movements. There are more than 400 indigenous organizations today in Brazil.