Four Guarani Indians shot in land conflict 21 November 2007

Four Guarani Indians were shot and wounded on Saturday in a conflict with ranchers who are occupying their land in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

The four were shot as the ranchers evicted them from the area of Kurusu Mba (‘the site of the cross’).

A group of around 100 Indians had re-occupied Kurusu Mba on Thursday 15 November. They had started to build shelters on the land, watched by the ranchers’ security guards. But on Saturday, the whole community was evicted and trucked back to the small area of land they have been living on before the re-occupation.

The Guarani of Kurusu Mba had previously re-occupied their land in January. They were also evicted on this occasion, and religious leader Kuretê Lopez was assassinated by security guards. Another community leader, Ortiz Lopes, was shot dead at the door of his house in July. His widow reported that the gunman had said, ‘The ranchers sent me to settle a score with you’.

One of the four Guarani shot on Saturday, 22-year-old Angélica Barrios, is still in hospital.

 

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