Dramatic video shows attack on Indian village

June 20, 2008

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An extraordinary video released by the Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR) and Survival International shows the moment hired gunmen attack a Makuxi Indian village in Brazil.

Although the Makuxi live in an officially recognised reserve, several powerful farmers are illegally occupying the territory and refusing to move. Gunmen hired by these farmers regularly attack the Indians. The state government has petitioned Brazil’s Supreme Court asking it to let these farmers remain on Indian land. It is expected to rule within the next month.

The video shows gunmen firing assault rifles and throwing homemade bombs at an unarmed group of Makuxi. The gunmen are believed to be working for Paulo César Quartiero, who is also the mayor of a nearby town. Ten Makuxi were wounded in the attack, six of them children.

Mr Quartiero was arrested but has since been released. Police found a large cache of arms on his farm.

The video was taken by CIR.

Two Indians from the area, Jacir José de Souza, the founder of CIR, and Pierlangela Nascimento da Cunha, will be in London next week and are available for interview.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘After Survival released the photos of uncontacted Indians in Brazil three weeks ago, some people said that such tribes should be encouraged to join the mainstream society. This extraordinary video shows what they can expect the mainstream will bring them – unremitting violence if they try to simply live on their own lands in peace.’

For further information please contact Miriam Ross on (44) (0)20 7687 8734 or (44) (0)7504 543 367 or email [email protected]

Indians of Raposa–Serra do Sol