Land dispute leaves Guaíra, in Western Paraná, up in arms

Friday, May 17, 2013


Land dispute leaves Guaíra, in Western Paraná, up in arms


The federal Government’s decision to suspend the demarcation of indigenous lands in Paraná incited the agrarian conflict in the cities of Guaíra and Terra Roxa, in the western part of the State. The region is experiencing a climate of hostility between farmers and GuaraniIndians, claiming land they consider to be their ancestors. According to the National Indian Foundation (Funai), there are now eight areas occupied in Guaíra and other five in Terra Roxa. Two areas in first city were already being marked, but had the paralyzed by order of the Minister of the Civil House, Gleisi Hoffmann, until other federal agencies, such as Embrapa, manifest on the demarcations.

The story is Denise Paro and published in the newspaper Gazeta do Povo, 5/17/2013.

The indigenous population in the region increased almost tenfold over the past four years, from 140 individuals in 2008 to currently 1,342 461, grouped in families. Many of them came from Mato Grosso do Sul, mainly from Japorã. The Indians live in precarious situation and suffer discrimination from the local population.

Farmers dispute the numbers of Funai and say that there are three areas raided, according to the Rural Union and the national organization of the right to Property (NGO DIP), created recently to defend farmers. Some belong to small producers, have one to three bushels, and go far from large estates, as it claims the group that defends indigenous peoples. For the “ruralists”, not all of which are in the villages are indigenous. “Some are Indians, others are Paraguayans,” says the representative of the NGO Advisory Council DIP, Luciana Possan Weber.

They claim that there are indigenous, commanding the groups who are not able to mobilize and would be coming to the cities of buses and trucks. Another accusation is that the dizzying growth of the indigenous population in the region in recent years meets the interests of what they term “Ngos of evil”. “We have nothing against the Indians. But the more miserable, the more they are manipulated, “says Luciana.

Technical Coordinator of Funai in Guaíra, the Bishop Diogo de Oliveira says that the Indians do not take up productive areas. “The Indians are insignificant areas of property, and does not hinder production.” He also denies that there are Paraguayan Indians in the region. “Has a wide stream of Paraguayans, but not within villages. In the villages there are Indians who were born here. Some of them have relatives in Paraguay, but there is no flow of Paraguayan Indians directed to Guaíra, “he argues.

Indigenous peoples are discriminated against and intimidated, accuses Funai

The tension between the rural sector and the indigenous community echoes in Guaíra. Much of the population is positioned against the employees of Funai, a condition that impairs the guaranis. Indigenous youth who attend school are marginalized and suffer prejudice, according to the indigenous Diogo de Oliveira, of the local Office of Funai. “They are taxed as ‘ invaders ‘ and ‘ bugrinhos ‘,” he says.

Another concern is the growing number of suicides among young people. Only last year were six cases. In the city, cars circulating with stickers whose sentence expresses the rejection to Funai: “Truth, Union, food and a nation. Confiscation No. ” The name of the Funai appears with a Griffin.

Funai officials say that a series of untruths are designed to put the population of Guaira against the organ and take sides against the Indians. Between the information, unsubstantiated according to Oliveira, are the expropriation of urban areas and rural properties throughout the West coast of Paraná, of Guaíra to Foz do Iguaçu. “Attacking the Indians became a political platform,” he says.

Crisis management

The city of Guaíra, in January this year, via Decree, a Cabinet crisis management to deal with the problem. Ahead of labor, the Secretary of planning, James Won, States that the municipality has already talked to the indigenous community and representatives of the rural sector. According to him, the best solution to the problem is the federal, State and local government purchasing an area around Guaíra and give housing to the indigenous conditions. “The expectation of the Indians is to have quality of life and a House to live. The dream is equal to ours, the difference is that they preserve their culture and identity. ” The area would be intended only to Indians from Guaíra, about 960, already registered by the city.

Expressions of support

The South Regional of the indigenous missionary Council (Cimi), connected to the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, issued a note on its Web site to express support for the Guarani people and Kaingang of Paraná and denounce what he calls “an intense campaign against the territorial rights of the Indians promoted by politicians, farmers and the Government of Paraná”. According to the note, some camps have emerged in late 1980, when the Indians were driven from their land because of the formation of the Lake of the Itaipu plant. The Cimi says that the greatest blame for tension in the region is the federal Government.


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