South and Meso American Indian Rights Center

(Reprinted with permission from Amanaka'a)

This is the most recent information on the situation of the community of Sucuriy. THE SAME DAY that CIMI put out the action which is currently being circulated, the COMMUNITY WAS EVICTED. So though the action currently circulating is not wrong, the situation is worse than ever.

The most recent info comes from CIMI-Mato Grosso do Sul, in Campo Grande, which works very closely with the Guarani Kaiowa, and was confirmed by Guarani leader Zeferino Araujo Mendes, who works at CAPOIB.


Maracaj™, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil: The Guarani-Kaiowa community of Sucuriy, whose land was officially demarcated in 1996, was evicted on December 23 — two days after they had returned to their area after having previously been forced off. Rancher Sebast o Alves Marcondes, who claims the land as his own, led an armed group including the mayor of Maracaj™, government officials, and other ranchers, who evicted the community of 53 people.

The Guarani were the first indigenous people encountered by the Europeans nearly 500 years ago. Life for the 27,000 Guarani in Brazil, however, has become increasingly difficult. Of the 23,000 Guarani living in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, nearly 9,000 have been expelled from their traditional land and are living in conditions of misery along the sides of the highways. Many of the areas already demarcated have been invaded by cattle ranchers, and several are pending final judgements on cases brought against them by neighboring landowners.

The area known as Sucuriy was demarcated on May 17, 1996 by the Minister of Justice (Portaria Ministerial n. 300). Despite the demarcation, however, they had not been allowed to return to their land, and did not receive an order giving them legal possession (because the area is occupied by a ranch, this order is needed for them to return). In 1996, two other Guarani communities - Jaguapiré and Jarar· - succeeded in reoccupying their traditional land. The community of Sucuriy tried to do the same, without success.

Once again, a Guarani community is living on the side of the road, denied the right to live on their traditional and legally demarcated land. They are waiting for the order giving them possession, which the federal police has demanded. They are ill-equipped, as many of their belongings were broken when the ranchers moved them. They have vowed to return to Sucuriy in the end of January, whether the order is issued or not. Should it not be issued, violence from the ranchers is sure to follow, as they have already made serious threats to the community.

We join CIMI/MS and CAPOIB in asking you to write the Minister of Justice and the President of FUNAI, requesting that they immediately issue the order giving the Guarani legal possession of Sucuriy, according to Portaria Ministerial n. 300, 5/17/96. In addition, please express your concern for the violent and anti-indigenous climate expressed by Maracaj™ public figures.

Minister of Justice President of FUNAI
Minister Nelson Jobim Dr. Julio Gaiger
Fax: 011 55 61 224 2448 Fax: 011 55 61 226 8782

Amanaka'a Amazon Network, 1/10/97. Information from: CIMI/MS, 1/5/97 & CAPOIB 12/26/96, 1/7/97.

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