World Rainforest Movement

Assembly of the Tupinikim and Guarani

On November 4 the period of 60 days ended during which FUNAI had to make a restudy, according to a letter of the Minister of Justice dated August 4. Concerning the decision of the Minister, there are three possible options:

– to declare the boundaries of the claimed lands and establish its demarcation. In this case Aracruz will go to court, according to declarations of representatives of the company;

– to declare the boundaries, but proposing a reduction of the area

– to take no decision.

Based on the two audiences which indigenous peoples representatives had at the Ministry of Justice, the Tupinikim and Guarani know that the minister has little willingness to decide in favour of the indigenous claim for an additional 13,579 hectares. Aracruz is interfering strongly at the level of FUNAI and the Ministry of Justice with this aim. During the month of September the indigenous peoples suffered a strong direct pressure from FUNAI and Aracruz Celulose, as was informed in WRM Bulletin Nr. 5 (16.10.97).

For these reasons the affected communities are organizing an assembly in order to decide on how to continue the struggle. The First Indigenous Assembly Tupinikim and Guarani is to take place on December 8. The assembly will also be attended by allies -among them the WRM- and representatives of indigenous organisations of other parts of the country, as well as authorities such as the Minister of Justice, the President of FUNAI and the State Governor.

Source: Leonardo da Silva Goncalves and Antonio Carlos Pinto dos Santos, Preparatory Commission of the Assembly. Sent by CIMI-Leste