They may not call themselves #Occupy. They certainly don’t use Facebook or the Internet to tell their story firsthand but the small band of the Guarani Kaiowa tribe are occupying a space that belongs to them and they are fighting fiercely and bravely against the 1% who have stolen from them.
Now hit men hired by wealthy Brazilian landowners brandish hit lists naming indigenous leaders.
Survival International reports that gunmen in Brazil are brazenly intimidating indigenous communities with a hit list of prominent leaders, following the high profile murder of Nísio Gomes last month.
Reportedly employed by powerful landowners in Mato Grosso do Sul state, the gunmen are creating a climate of fear to prevent Guarani Indians from returning to their ancestral land.
HERE IS HOW NISIO GOMES WAS MURDERED A FEW WEEKS AGO IN NOVEMBER:
Nisio Gomes, a 59-year-old Indian chief and shaman of the Guarani Kaiowa tribe, was murdered by a group of heavily armed men in front of his community November 18, 2011.
Members of the community said that the gunmen ordered them to lie down on the ground. As Gomes’ son tried to intervene, Gomes was shot in his legs, arms, chest and head, reported FUNAI (National Indian Foundation).
The gunmen took the body of Gomes afterward. One child was shot with rubber bullets and three others were kidnapped by the gunmen. The 60-resident Guarani community, living in a camp in Brazil’s southern Mato Grosso do Sul state, had just returned this November after initially being evicted by ranchers. A spokesperson from FUNAI said that the gunmen seemed to have been hired by ranchers who wanted to get the land from the Guarani.
“Everything indicates that ranchers, who want the land to raise cattle and plant sugarcane, hired the gunmen to get rid of Gomes, who was an outspoken defender of Indian rights,” added Renato Santana from the Indian Missionary Council, as quoted by The New York Times.
One percent of the population is said to control almost all cultivated land in Brazil and many indigenous people have been attacked over their ancestral lands, according to AFP.
“It seems like the ranchers won’t be happy until they’ve eradicated the Guarani. This level of sustained violence was commonplace in the past and it resulted in the extinction of thousands of tribes. It is utterly shameful that the Brazilian government allows it to continue today,” said Director Stephen Corry from Survival, an organization that fights for the rights of tribal people. Activists have said that the local police have not done anything to stop the violence against the indigenous community.
For now, the community members have sought refuge in the forest. However, this has not weakened their resolve to keep their ancestral lands. ”We’ll stay on the camp. We’ll all die here. We will not leave our ancestral land,” said one Guarani Indian, as quoted by the CIMI (Roman Catholic Indigenous Missionary Council).
Who will stand up for these people? Certainly not the current crop of 1% representatives in Washington D.C. Certainly not Barack Obama and the Wall Street sponsored Obama administration. He visited there earlier this year and brought along a bunch of Wall Street globalization supporters with him. In several speeches he praised the government of Brazil.
Since that time we haven’t heard a peep from the White House regarding these crimes, nor the crimes of displacing the poor in the slums of Rio de Janeiro so that the rich attending the Olympics games in 2014 and 2016 won’t have to look at the poor. Apparently, if we are to judge by their silence, such actions are condoned by the Obama administration.
There are lots of ways you can help. Don’t just sit there! Do something now!
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