World Rainforest Movement

Brazil: International day of action for demarcation of the lands of the Tupinikim and Guarani indians

Today [December 12], hundreds of indigenous people from the seven Tupinikim and Guarani communities in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil, occupied the harbor Portocel, from where the cellulose of the company Aracruz Celulose is being exported to Europe, the USA and Asia. They are protesting together with several solidarity groups in Brazil and abroad to ask the Brazilian government once and for all to fulfill its constitutional duty and demarcate the traditional lands of the Tupinikim and Guarani indigenous peoples: 11.009 hectares invaded by Aracruz Cellulose S/A, a major paper company.

In February 2006, Minister of Justice Márcio Thomaz Bastos promised during a public meeting in the State Parliament of Espirito Santo – in the presence of indigenous peoples, parliamentarians, and other authorities – to issue the Act of Demarcation before August 2006 and to ratify the area before the end of the year. On September 12 2006, a report in favor of demarcation was submitted by the National Indian Foundation to the Minister of Justice. Since then, it has been in his hands, awaiting a decision – legally, the decision should be made by today, December 12, 2006. The Commission of Tupinikim and Guarani Chiefs and Leaders argues that the agreed-upon deadlines have not been fulfilled by the government, and have called for a day of solidarity.

The delay has allowed Aracruz Cellulose to adopt public actions against the indigenous communities, among them a strongly defamatory campaign, encouraging prejudice and racial hatred.

Today, solidarity groups in Germany, Norway, the Netherlands and the United States are coordinating demonstrations, especially at Brazilian Embassies and Consulates, in solidarity with the protests led by the Tupinikim and Guarani.

Please take a moment to write a brief letter to the Minister of Justice, asking him to recognize the rights of the Tupinikim and Guarani by demarcating their ancestral homeland: <>

Sample letter here

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