Indians, native aliens

ELIANE BRUM-   6/10/2013                                            

Indians, native aliens

The difficulty of a portion of the elites, of the population and Government to recognize indigenous peoples as part of Brazil created a kind of xenophobia, invoked in times of conflict escalation

ELIANE BRUM                                                                                                                                                                                                                           


Eliane Brum, journalist, writer and documentarian. The author of a novel- A Two (LeYa) and three books of reportage: the Prestes column-wrong side of the legend (arts and crafts), the life that no one sees (archipelago, Jabuti Award 2007) and the eye-a street reporter in search of real-life literature (globe). Twitter: @brumelianebrum   (Photo: Clareto/Disclosure Lilo)

The back of the indigenous to the country’s tariff has generated quite revealing speeches about the inability to listen to them as part of Brazil that have something to say not only about the place, but also about yourself. The natives seem to be, for a portion of the elites, of the population and the Government, something that might be called “indigenous foreigners”. Is a curious case of xenophobia, in which those who were here are seen as those outside. As “others,” who dedicated huge distrust. In the historical process of estrangeirização of the population originating in, the natives were enslaved, catechized, driven in some cases decimated. By still remain, are considered obstacles to development. The very cost were recognized as holders of rights, and that the Constitution of 1988 was a milestone, but still seem to be those with whom the company does not India has a debt that cost you recognize and that, for some sectors – and not just the “ruralists”-it would be better to give default. For the inside out we need to continue to keep them out in the speech. This is what we have witnessed in recent weeks.

Examples more explicit is the thesis that not speak for themselves. To foreigners is denied possession of a voice, as it cannot be acknowledged as part. Whenever the Indians leave the borders, both physical and symbolic, imposed to continue outside, while inside, is reissued version that are “manoeuvre mass” of NGOs. Worth a look with more attention to this narrative version, which is always present, but in times of conflict escalation gains strength.

This time, the entrance of the indigenous in the news was given by two episodes: the death of terena Oziel Gabriel, during an operation of the Federal Police in Mato Grosso do Sul, and the paralysis of Belo Monte, works in Pará, by the occupation of the building by the munduruku people. The terena Prince Gabriel, 35 years, died with a bullet in the belly during the fulfillment of a repossession order in favor of the farmer and former by PSDB Ricardo Bacha, on a land recognized as indigenous territory since 1993. By the logic of speech that would be handled by NGOs, Dennis and his group, to think and act according to their own convictions, would not be claiming the right constitutionally guaranteed to live in their original area. Nor were there because the alternative to fight for Earth would turn cheap labor or semiescrava in the farms of the region, or turn slum dwellers on the outskirts of cities. Not. Indigenous peoples would only be genuinely peaceful and quietly accepted if indigenous the gradual disappearance of its people, without disturbing the country with their insistent requests for the Constitution to be fulfilled. Then there is a clue to what some sectors of the Brazilian society perceive as “true” identity: being Indian would be, when does not disappear, at least mute.

In the case of indigenous, if thoroughly questioned the legitimacy of their presence in the construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant, because they are “the 800 miles of his land”. Again, the Indians would be extrapolating unwritten borders. The munduruku people were there because their land could be affected by other 14 dams, this time in the Tapajos, and at least one of them, São Luiz do Tapajós, is expected to be in the energy auction scheduled for the beginning of 2014. If they are unable to hear now, they know what will happen with them the same as just happen with the Xingu peoples. Will be victims of another speech very much in vogue, the consummate work. The trajectory of Belo Monte showed that the strategy is to play the work, even without the compliance with the environmental conditions, even without listening to the natives, even with the known road kills of the process inside and outside the Government, until the plant is so advanced, has already consumed so much money, that is almost impossible to stop.

Then the munduruku people shout alone there in the Tapajos, to be included in their constitutional right, backed also by Convention of the International Labour Organization, to be heard on a work that will affect them? Not. So, they went to Belo Monte do listen. But, as are indigenous, some believe that would not be capable of such political strategy. We need to rescue, once again, the discourse of handling-or infiltration. Since, to be legitimate, the munduruku Indians would have to just accept any and all work-and, if they were good, maybe even thank white heads for it.

When indigenous peoples raise the voice, the voice would not be his. Would another, to whom they lend. No one is naive enough to believe that the speech of the indigenous as mass of maneuver is innocent. It serves many interests, including the taking of the real interests focus on indigenous lands of the broadcasts. But this speech would not have resonance without the participation of a significant part of the Brazilian population. And this membership is, I think, for this species of xenophobia. These “native” foreigners would threaten a supposed progress, since your knowledge is not decoded as a value, but as a “delay”, its enormous cultural diversity and world views are not interpreted as wealth and opportunities, but as useless. In this sense, there is a phrase quite revealing of how this look-or not looking-large portions of contaminates society, including in the Government. To speak at a public hearing in the House of representatives last December, Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo, said his was folder “of the toga to tanga”. Between the two extremes, we can see in which one Minister is the pinnacle of civilization and also its opposite.

There’s even a double invocation of the foreigner in this speech, because the only thing worse than being “mass of manoeuvre” of national NGOs would be of. Evoke the external threat always seems to work, as in those SPAMs, which now and then reappear, that “the gringos are invading the Amazon”-this also, so our we can destroy it, a task to which we have dedicated hard. To denounce an alleged appropriation of symbolic body of the indigenous by others, which is, in fact, is the frustration because this body is not expropriating and manipulating elites as before. Because despite all the violence, there is a voice that still escapes – and which demand the recognition of his body, of his belonging. The one who is seen as the outside becomes a nuisance when he says that.

Worth watching in whom amplifies the speech of the Indians as “mass of manoeuvre”, to verify that they do exactly what they accuse others of doing: say what the natives, all of them, need and want. There seems to be a consensus, including, that the true desire of the indigenous would be become a employee and urban or, at least, the beneficiary of some income transfer program of the Government.

In this position, they would disturb anyone-let alone the rural producers. This is the key moment for the entry of other recurring speech: that the Indians want to land “too much”. Just do the math, as did the journalist Fabiano Maisonnave, in Folha de s. Paulo: with a population of 28 thousand indigenous people in Mato Grosso do Sul, the terenas have seven reservations, adding about 20 thousand hectares; the rural producer Ricardo Bacha, on whose farm was killed the terena Prince Gabriel, has about 6,300 hectares, of which 800 in dispute. Whether it’s concentration of land in the hand of few who intended to speak, there are many illustrative numbers that can be cited. Other interesting data comes from a survey of Embrapa, cited in the article forest engineer Paulo Barreto, the Ecowebsite: 58.6 million hectares of degraded pastures by livestock, equivalent to 53% of the total area of indigenous lands. “Embrapa has demonstrated that there are already technologies to increase the productivity of degraded pastures. So, occupy indigenous land is unconstitutional, as well as proof of incompetence, “said Barreto. Embrapa is one of the new actors who should be called to opine on the demarcations, in a maneuver to empty the Funai and please the rural bench.

The strange place unwanted, supposedly without space in Brazil that seeks the development, has allowed all sorts of atrocities against individuals and also against entire ethnic groups throughout history. It is very important that each Brazilian allows half an hour or less of your day to read at least the first 16 pages of the summary of the report, a historical document that was believed lost and that was discovered at the end of 2012 by Marcelo Zelic, Vice-President of the Group Torture never again. In total, the Prosecutor Jáder Fontenelle Belt dedicated 7 thousand pages to tell what his team saw and heard. The full text is also available on the internet.

The report, dated 1968, documented the treatment given to the indigenous peoples by the defunct Indian protection service (SPI). Among the crimes, whose leaders were nominated, but never punished, are the “punishments” inflicted by officials to indigenous peoples, such as crucifixions and torture known as “trunk” in which the victim had crushed ankle. Children were sold to abusers, women, raped and forced into prostitution. Two villages of pataxó in Bahia, were decimated to meet the political interests of national expression.An indigenous nation was extinguished by farmers, in Maranhão, without employees even tried to protect her. The Prosecutor cited the possible inoculation of smallpox in an ethnicity of Itabuna, Bahia, for the land to be released for “government bigwigs”, as well as the extermination of a group of Cinta Larga people, in Mato Grosso, in various ways: throwing dynamite from an airplane and adding strychnine to sugar, in addition to hunt them down and kill them with machine guns. The massacre occurred in 1963, still in the democratic period, therefore, and those who still survived were torn with the machete, “pubis head”.

The list is long. It is important to note that all of this happened at the time of Pedro Álvares Cabral, not even in the time of the bandeirantes, but in the 60 ‘s. Practically yesterday, historically. It is emphasized that the crimes were inflicted to the Indians, in a widespread behavior throughout the country, for representatives of the Brazilian State. I mention the report not only because I believe that we need to meet him, but because he shows that kind of look allows atrocities of that order have become an unofficial policy, but carried on as if it were-and not by a single psychopath, but by dozens of officials and their wives, with the support and sometimes the order of the Director of the agency created to protect the people. For these people, the body of the indigenous era the territory be violated, as was their land raped. As those without place, indigenous peoples were not recognized as equal, not even as humans. Were what, then? The Prosecutor responds: “everything as if the Indian were irrational, ranked far below the working animals, which lends itself, in the interests of production, some assistance and plentiful food”.

For those who think that this chapter is part of the past, it is worth remembering that only in the last ten years, Rousseff squid, Governments were murdered indigenous 560. The Constitution needs to be fulfilled, the demarcations shall be made, the farmers that have legal titles, distributed by the Government in the past, are entitled to be indemnified by the State. But there is a larger, more profound movement, that we must undertake. As “native stranger,” an impossibility, you can only perpetuate the violence.It is necessary to make the gesture, also at the individual level, to recognize the indigenous as part, not outside. To do this we must first want to know, the gesture that precedes the recognition. Only then you will find Brazil Brazil.

(Eliane Brum writes on Mondays)

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