'Nothing short of genocide and ethnocide' for Brazil's indigenous peoples

13 June 2017 - 2:15pm
War on Want in the news

War on Want in the Guardian. Guarani-Kaiowá leader Ladio Veron is seeking international support to end violence against indigenous people and environmental destruction under the Temer administration, writes Lucy EJ Woods for Mongabay

Guardian article: Brazilian tribal leader tours Europe to plead for help to stop killings and land grabs

"What [Brazilian President] Temer proposes is nothing short of genocide and ethnocide for indigenous peoples," says Seb Munoz, War on Want’s senior international programmes officer (Latin America) in the Guardian.

Guarani-Kaiowá leader Ladio Veron (centre) 

Background

Earlier this year,  Ladio Veron, leader of the Guarani-Kaiowá Indigenous community in Brazil, visited the UK to raise awareness about the struggle of his people against the violent expansion of agribusiness on their ancestral territories, which is endangering their livelihoods and survival.

For several decades now the Guarani-Kaiowá Indigenous community in Brazil have been under threat from the rapid expansion of large-scale Soybean and Sugarcane plantations for the global biofuels market.

Most of their land has been stolen and their forests destroyed. They have been subjected to targeted assassinations of their leaders, forced evictions, and land grabs at the hands of armed groups and state forces often paid for by the farmers. The communities also face disease and the highest suicide rate for indigenous people in the world.

Resistance

Their frontline struggle is one for survival. In resistance to the violence and the dispossession, many have literally 're-taken' their ancestral lands and occupied the farms, despite repression from both the farmers and the Brazilian government.

The soft-coup suffered in Brazil last year has made the situation worse - politicians influenced by the agrarian lobby are currently considering a series of plans which would critically weaken indigenous rights and protections on their land. The impacts would be catastrophic. 

What the community needs us to do

The Guarani-Kaiowá Assembly - Aty Guasu - has decided to send Cacique Ládio Veron on a tour of different European countries in order to:

** Raise awareness about the critical situation facing communities
** Denounce the current Brazilian government’s proposed plans
** Build a solidarity network with individuals and organisations interested in supporting the defence of the Guarani-Kaiowá and their territories.

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