South and Meso American Indian Rights Center

From CIMI Newsletter n. 244


The Guarani-Kaiowa from the Sucuriy area, located in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, have not found a means to return to the indigenous area, from which they were expelled on December 23. They were expelled from the area by order of farmer Sebastiao Alves Marcondes two days after the Kaiowa tried to take possession of the 500-hectare territory which was demarcated in May 1996. The farmer, who claims to be the owner of the land, is supported by the new mayor of the municipality of Maracaju, by the lawyer of the city hall, and by the president of the Rural Union of the municipality. Upon being called to settle the issue, the Federal Police informed the Indians that they needed a court authorization - a writ of delivery - to return to the area, a requirement which is both unprecedented and absurd.

Indigenist Walter Coutinho, from Funai in Brasilia, informed Cimi that the practice of the agency is to ensure the right of the farmer to the area until the land is registered, which may happen after many years. It is, to say the least, a strange position, as the agency is supposed to take care of the interests of the Indians and ensure the right of the community to take possession of the area in question. It means that the Indians will only manage to live in the already demarcated land by acting on their initiative, as happened in the Jarara and Jaguapire areas of the same people last year. The lawyer of the farmer is gathering the necessary documents to contest the demarcation of the Sucuriy area.

Brasilia, 23 January 1997

Indigenist Missionary Council - Cimi

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