Indigenous vs Agriculture

To understand why kill the Indians


June 6, 2013-10:49 — Michelle

The case of the demarcation of indigenous lands in Mato Grosso do Sul or in any other State in the country is not outside the context of the advancement and strengthening of agribusiness





At the beginning of the 20th century, Brazil decided to expand its agricultural borders, strengthening its position dependent country, exporter of raw materials. It was necessary then move inside, open avenues for livestock and agriculture. There stepped in the Marechal Rondon, who dreamed of a peaceful coexistence between Indians and whites: “die Yes, kill, never”. But, this legacy of humanity is lost in time. “Pacified” the natives called to “civilize”, to enter the rhythm of white society, were losing their identity, their roots, their culture. Others, reluctant, were housed in reservations, as if they were exotic animals with their land reduced and protected by the State. The territory “at peace” won deeds, owners, fences. And the real owners of the territory left the nostalgia for a time that they could live in their own way.

Now, during the newest Brazilian dependent development cycle, which began in the Lula administration, it is precisely this dictates agricultural frontier that seeks to expand again and, again, at the expense of the native peoples or landless peasants. But, when we talk about agriculture is not in question that produces food for the table of Brazilians, and Yes to export in business language won the pompous name of agribusiness. Because this business (agrobussiness) represents more than 22% of the total wealth produced in the country, which is no small feat. Only China has imported more than 380 million dollars in agricultural products, as well as the United States that the slope in the same cipher.

According to information from the federal Government ( -2011 data), the most prominent products leaving the country are meat ($ 1.14 billion); forest products ($ 702 million); the soy complex-grain, bran and oil ($ 685 million); coffee ($ 605 million) and the alcohol-and sugar alcohol complex ($ 372 million). Note that most of the grain export (which generally serve to feed animals) and wood, two legitimate representatives of destructive monoculture.

Government calculations point to the successive growth of the production of grains, especially soybeans, which has increased the area planted in 2.3% per annum. It is no coincidence, then, that the State of Mato Grosso do Sul is the main focus of dispute of land and violence against indigenous peoples. It is precisely the Midwest region responsible for 45% of the soybean production. And is there as well where there is a large portion of the indigenous people, waiting for demarcation of their lands.

From the year 2003 another border began to extend soybean planting currently another violent disputes, the space of the region of the caatinga and the northeastern part of the Amazon. Also it is not without reason that the Government is taking on gigantic works as the hydroelectric plants in the Amazon and the transposition of the São Francisco River. All this is to meet the demand of these plantations. And it’s always good to stress: it is not food for the people, is export. Going out of the country.

Not enough the fantastic project to benefit agribusiness, the Government also provides, through the Crop Plan, credit the interest below market. That is, the richest pay less for loans, while the small, planting the food that goes into the Bureau of population, bemoan high interest rates and lack of support. Is also in progress in the sugar-alcohol sector strategic plan, which aims to expand the area of sugar cane for ethanol production. Once again, it’s not the food that these people produce.

The logic is always: ensure profitability for the few owners of land, strengthening the agricultural export system, support the predatory, multinational action and follow the path of economic dependence, since low value-added agricultural products make the economy very vulnerable. But, apparently it doesn’t matter. What counts is investing in major producers to maintain balance in surplus, even if it need cost sovereignty, environmental destruction and death of those who dare to “disrupt” the schema.

So, in the same week in which indigenous people are murdered in Mato Grosso do Sul, the Government announces a package of 136 billion reais to corporate agriculture (agribusiness). Is the complete surrender.

The case of the demarcation of indigenous lands in Mato Grosso do Sul or in any other State in the country is not outside the context of the advancement and strengthening of agribusiness. The farmers want more land and are not willing to allow beings that they consider “useless” live their culture of environmental balance and development outside of capitalist pace. For those who can only see the numbers on the New York Stock Exchange, the indigenous population is an obstacle that needs to be taken out of the way at any cost. For this hire roughnecks and send bullet. Make a deaf ear to the cry that rises.

Aided by the commercial media, dominated by the elite who truly rules the country, these rural entrepreneurs can also get into the head of the gentes, fertilizing a racist, prejudiced and violent speech. Simple people, workers, people who should be caring for indigenous in their struggle for the right to live in their land, end up reproducing the mantra daily broadcast on television: that the Indians are bums, who don’t want to work, who do not need the land, which will sell the land, which will explore the wood, and so on. “Buy” the lie continuously produced and become accomplices of another massacre of the population originally, true owner of this place.

On top of that the federal Government bows to the interests of the dominant class and employs brute force to attack legitimate manifestations of indigenous peoples and the people who support the cause originally.

The conflict we’ve seen if explicitly on the roads of the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, in the Amazon and even here, on the Morro dos Cavalos, is nothing more than the class struggle, typical of capitalism. On the other hand, the folwark defending their interests, on the other, the exploited, seeking decent life. And, in the middle of it all a nation alienated by the constant informational deformation of commercial media that transforms into enemy those who are victims of the system.

The way out of this imbroglio is the fight. Nothing will be granted by the Government, which already knelt before the agribusiness. Now, the challenge is to take the veil of conflict, throw open the causes, open the eyes of dulled by the media. And that, we know, is hard thing too. But neither is it something that should stop us. On the contrary. At that time the indigenous brothers face the bullets and death, we need concrete and effective support. The good is that people leave the streets in solidarity with the indigenous struggle. Until that happens we will doing the work of Ant, taking other information, so that the heads can understand the indigenous law.

It is not possible for the trade unions and social movements not to rise in support. It is not possible that the Brazilian people do not co/move with the drama of a people who lost everything that was his, and that now lives confined in reservations. What they did to be prisoners of the State and society? That crime committed in addition to being here, creating their families, when the invaders arrived? Why need to pay because there are and wanting to follow living their culture?

What Faiza you if someone came into your House and you gouge away under the pretext that it is necessary to pass by there the progress-but not all, just some? Because the right of agribusiness is greater than that of an entire community?

These are questions that do not want to and cannot shut up. All support for indigenous brothers!


Elaine Tavares is a journalist.

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