Guarani community celebrates land victory

August 6, 2007

This page was created in 2007 and may contain language which is now outdated.

A Brazilian Indian community has finally won back its land after years of struggle and hardship.

On June 26 around 200 Guarani Kaiowá Indians fulfilled a long held dream and opened the gates to Sucuriy, their tekoha ('land of the ancestors').

For years the community lived in tarpaulin shacks on the side of a highway after being evicted from their own land by cattle ranchers. They eked out a living by selling handicrafts to passers by.

Finally, in January this year, a judge ruled the ranchers had to leave.

With support from Survival the Indians lobbied the authorities and never gave up. As a Kaiowá man, Mario Toriba, said, 'If you kill an ant, more come out to be killed. We Indians are like that.'

Now the soya fields are being replanted with corn and the Guarani are rebuilding their lives, secure on their own land.