80.000.000.000 AND COUNTING
Throwing out the indians
Brasília, 17 July 2003
Last Saturday (the 12th), the Federal Police removed about 700 Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hãe were removed from seven areas in the regions of Água Vermelha, Mundo Novo and Taquari in compliance with a repossession judicial decision. The farms that were reoccupied by this indigenous people in 2000 and 2001 are located inside the 54,100 hectares of the Caramuru Catarina - Paraguaçu indigenous land, located in the state of Bahia.
The action was carried out by a group of 100 heavily armed Federal Police officers divided in three teams and three army helicopters. The indigenous people who were removed from the farms were put in plastic tents by a road near the farms, where they were left without any assistance whatsoever. The number of children among them is high, among whom many have caught diseases by now. It is raining heavily in the region and it is cold, but the people remain strongly determined to continue to struggle to return to their lands.
Last Monday (the 14th), a delegation of the Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hãe met with the Attorney General in Ilhéus, state of Bahia. During the meeting, the indigenous leaders reported the situation their people have been facing since they were removed from their land and the bullying and threats they have been receiving from farmers and their bodyguards. According to the indigenous leaders, the farmers blocked two streets in Pau-Brazil on Sunday (the 15th) and threw a party to celebrate their “victory.”
Since we were expelled from our lands, death is following us. We bury people nearly every day. The village is becoming empty. We are heading towards extinction. Now all the old people have died. Our culture is dying too.