Indigenous leaders denounce farmer invading their land

September 11, 2008

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Leaders of Barro community in the Indigenous territory of Raposa-Serra do Sol in Brazil have denounced destruction of their property by farmer Paulo César Quartieiro on 3 September. Quartieiro is one of a small group of powerful farmers who have invaded the Indians’ land.

The leaders accuse the farmer of invading their sports centre, and destroying property and a plaque that identifies the demarcation of Raposa-Serra do Sol.

Quartieiro, who is also the mayor of the nearby town of Pacaraima, declared publicly his intention to build houses for non-Indigenous people inside the reserve, contravening a ruling by Brazil’s Supreme Court.

The Indians alerted the Federal Police and urged them to take measures against Quartieiro. A formal accusation was sent to the authorities with a document signed by 72 Indigenous leaders.

Tensions are running high in Raposa-Serra do Sol, which lies in the Amazon state of Roraima and is home to the 18,000 to 20,000 Indians from the Makuxi, Wapixana, Taurepang, Ingarikó and Patamona tribes.

Quartieiro and other farmers are contesting the official recognition of the Raposa-Serra do Sol territory in the Supreme Court and for several years have waged a violent campaign against the Indians.

Sign the petition calling on Brazil’s Supreme Court to uphold the ratification of Raposa-Serra do Sol.

Indians of Raposa–Serra do Sol