There is no indigenous rebellion, but various problems created by whites. It is the largest offensive against the indigenous policy of the story, says anthropologist

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There is no indigenous rebellion, but various problems created by whites. It is the largest offensive against the indigenous policy of the story, says anthropologist

June 8, 2013 | 4:26 pm
Wilson Brown, Rio de Janeiro

RIO-researcher for four decades of Brazilian indigenous cultures, anthropologist João Pacheco de Oliveira, a professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro National Museum, says that the impression of a indigenous rebellion in the country is not real: “the various problems in the industry have no connection with each other”. What is unified, he says, is the biggest offensive against the indigenous policy in Brazilian history, with proposals for revision of demarcations and the law that governs the area, with actions in Congress, in the media and the Government sectors. Coping with farmers in Mato Grosso do Sul, dams in indigenous areas and clashes with soybean farmers in the North, conflicts with squatters in the Northeast and brawls with small producers in the South form the framework described by academic, which highlights the strong growth of agribusiness, which always requires new land to cultivate, in model “endless expansion”.

Ed Ferreira/Estadão-Indians protest in Brasilia

P evaluates that the Government Dilma Rousseff so far have not defined how it will act on the issue, but at the same time not signaled that it will support proposals such as the transfer to the National Congress the power to demarcate indigenous lands, defended by the rural bench. He thinks the Government is talking with the sectors involved and does not seem to want to kick in the demarcations, which ensured the survival of the Yanomami in Roraima, for example.

The Brazilian indigenous legislation, says, is advanced and praised abroad, and withdraw it would put the Brazil in uncomfortable company of countries that repress minorities such as the Kurds, which would give the Country the “Nobel of genocide”. He also counters arguments of common sense against the Indians, as they are less than 1 million people and have reservations that add up to 13% of the national territory. “The indigenous areas are not only for indigenous peoples, are largely environmental reserves,” he says. “And they are not indigenous lands are lands of the Union.”

To assign the crisis in indigenous area in this magnitude, now?

Maybe I needed to know exactly which crisis do you speak. The various phenomena occurring are different things, the unity between them is not real. The munduruku people are concerned with the installation of the dam there in the Tapajós region. There is another dynamic that is the South Indians of Brazil. There are problems in the area of the Mato Grosso do Sul … Anyway, are quite different issues. They are being homogenized because, at the moment, there is a very large force against indigenous Brazilian legislation, against the rules on the demarcation of land, you want to combine these issues as a reason.

It would be offensive against the indigenous policy?

A violent offensive. Never happened something of this proportion, and with such political mobilization capacity along the Government sectors, with the public opinion. It’s a fact really unheard of in the history of the country. From the point of view of assistance to Indians, everything is happening according to the usual standards and according to the normal rhythm of local tensions and resolution of these tensions. But there is the impression of an indigenous rebellion. This has no foundation. Now, on the other hand, attempts to overturn a legal standards, with great force and absolute misunderstanding. Brazilian law is quite advanced as far as the recognition of the rights of minorities, in some places a copy in accordance with international law. These charges placed by economic sectors, political sectors, are totally untruthful.

It is argued that the Brazil is 13% of its territory less than 1 million Indians.

The indigenous areas are not only for the indigenous. To a large extent are environmental reserves, ecological sanctuaries disrespected: Xingu, the Yanomami area, parts of the Javari River, Black border. And are not indigenous lands are lands of the Union. Indigenous lands are not those 13% that arises. Moreover, the argument itself is quite questionable, because the land concentration in Brazil shall be 0.2% of the population to have 80% of the arable land. So, this rationale would be for land reform.

It can be said that in the North the main impact on the indigenous areas is of great works such as dams, and in the South it comes of agribusiness?

On Amazon there is also a big impact rural production. Soybeans today are in Roraima. In addition, there are a number of other investments, including of foreign timber and mining companies as well as international. But, if you think in the Midwest, there is no doubt that the pressure is greater on investments of soy. Are destroying large parts of the country, in order to unrecoverable. The few preserved areas are often inhabited by indigenous peoples, who are only preserved because they are indigenous lands or because there is indigenous land in the surroundings. The others were consumed by this predatory development process, very linear and very fast, which destroys the conditions in the region. Already in southern Brazil the conditions are quite different. Conflicts with indigenous involve small landowners who have connection with the market, with production funding, an agribusiness, in a way. In the North-East the situation is varied, but often the Indians fight against grilagens, large estates, estates often unoccupied.

The strong growth of agribusiness would be behind the attempt to change the law?

I think so. Agribusiness operates by expansion, will grow, incorporating new lands, not so much by changing technology, but occupying the same type of procedure. Is an endless expansion. This, somehow, made it easier to promote the invasion of indigenous areas. Often demarcated lands are nominally as indigenous, but exploited by others. And a policy of protection for these populations should not only worry about the Earth, but also the survival of them: the generation of wealth, qualifying them as citizens, belonging to the national society.

As it has been the Government’s stance in this respect Dilma?

The Government still did not set very well Dilma as will act in this regard. In some areas there was downtime. But, at the same time, there was a commitment in the Mato Grosso do Sul to resolve the situation of the Guarani and TERENA people. I think these are very important signs to cool things down and make people think a little bit about what is being practiced.

But the Government’s stance is not dubious? He sometimes gets into the hands of the Congressional rural Caucus.

Maybe in another industry, such as policy analysis, this can be observed. There are pressures being made to overhaul the indigenous policy, so that if Miss a breakthrough in legislation, administrative practices. But I think that the Government has not yet kicked. Is dialogue with those forces, trying to apply the legislation.

And there is no provision to change the legislation on the part of the Government?

I sincerely hope not. Would put the Government, let’s say, more to the right of the military governments. It would be actually unprotect native populations, something that today nobody would dare-with the exception of some Middle Eastern countries that repress minorities such as the Kurds … But I think the Nobel Laureate genocide would be a terrible thing.

What were the results of political boundary?

In this sense, the situation in Brazil in the last 30 years walked as well. Many lands were settled, people who were under violent siege, threat, harassment, managed to structure more. Up to the demographic data collected by IBGE shows an expansion of the indigenous. But the demarcation is not alone. Also requires at another time a resource usage policy accordingly, advised by the State so lucid, so that these resources are not devastated. This is called sustainable development.

The existence of these saved reserves any ethnicity?

The most obvious case of large proportion, is that of the Yanomami. In 1990, they came to have their area raided heavily by miners, which were destroying more rudimentary fashion as possible. The recognition of the creation of the Yanomami indigenous land avoided this situation of extermination, prostitution, violence, and ensured a certain possibility for them to adapt, to develop assistance programmes within the reserve. Mention the case of the Yanomami, but is the General model. It was so in the Xingu Park.

Mato Grosso do Sul is where the higher pressure?

The problem is widespread. Years behind in Roraima, there was a lot of belligerence, persecution, marginalization of indigenous political forces of the State. After the recognition of the Raposa Serra do Sol, the demarcation of the area by the Brazilian Government and ratified by the Supreme Court, were removed a few people who were in the region and the problem is over. I imagine that the same thing will be happening in Mato Grosso do Sul, where the degree of bellicosity against indigenous peoples is in fact stronger. The Guarani are a large enough population, terenas idem. And at the same time has the agribusiness wanting new land. To the extent that the Government recognises rights, the trend is that at first, conflicts occur much reaction on the part of those who are likely to lose profits allowed by law, not by the Constitution. But these things fit together.,cerco-articulado,1040280,0.htm


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