Gunmen destroy indigenous camp, Brazil

Guarani man. Gunmen have invaded a Guarani camp in Brazil.
Guarani man. Gunmen have invaded a Guarani camp in Brazil.
© João Ripper/Survival

Gunmen have invaded an indigenous Guarani camp in Brazil.

The invaders are reported to have destroyed the Guarani’s houses and threatened the Guarani of Pyelito Kuê community, who were forced to flee into the forest.

One Guarani said, ‘They destroyed our camp, they burned our things, we had to run away’.

Some of the Indians are reported to have returned to the camp again, where the situation remains tense and they fear further attacks.

Around 20 used shotgun cartridges were found at the destroyed Guarani camp of the Pyelito Kuê community, Brazil, August 2011. The violence follows the Guarani’s return to their ancestral land earlier this month.
Around 20 used shotgun cartridges were found at the destroyed Guarani camp of the Pyelito Kuê community, Brazil, August 2011. The violence follows the Guarani’s return to their ancestral land earlier this month.
© MPF/Survival

The violence follows the Guarani’s return to their ancestral land earlier this month. This was this community’s third attempt to reoccupy their land, which has been stolen from them and occupied by ranchers.

Having seen much of their land stolen from them to make way for cattle ranches and soya and sugar cane plantations, many Guarani live in appalling conditions in overcrowded reserves or roadside camps.

The Brazilian authorities are responsible for returning the land to the Indians, but this process is suffering severe delays. It is not uncommon for Guarani communities to decide to return to their land before the government officially maps it out for them.

The Guarani have a deep connection to their land, without which they suffer alarmingly high rates of malnutrition, suicide and violence. 56 Guarani are reported to have been assassinated last year alone.

They are often threatened after they reoccupy their lands, and some Guarani leaders, such as Marcos Veron, have been killed.

Download Survival’s report to the UN, about the critical situation the tribe faces.