World Rainforest Movement

Tupinikim and Guarani: Does the Government respect the law?

On August 12th representatives of the Tupinikim and Guarani, the federal deputies Nilton Baiano and Joao Coser and CIMI held an audience with the Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Justice Mr. Jose de Jesus Filho, to claim once again the delimitation of the boundaries of indigenous lands. During the audience, the representative of the Brazilian government asked about the possiblity of an exchange and/or a reduction of the claimed lands, with the aim of not jeopardizing the activities of Aracruz Celulose S.A. (ARCEL) and even questioned about the necessity of the claimed lands. He also expressed that the Ministry had decided to carry out an additional survey within the period of 90 days. Even if such a decision is made possible by Decree 1775/96, the Secretary’s attitude and arguments looked very close to those of ARCEL and raised doubts among the delegation. Is the Government taking into account the report of the Working Grop of FUNAI, that recommended the extension of indigenous territories to 13579 hectares? Is Article 231 of the Federal Constitution -which affirms that “the lands to which this article refers shall be inalienable and unavailable, and the rights to them shall not lapse”- being respected?

After the audience, the Executive Commission of the Tupinikim and Guarani decided: to denounce any attempt of the Brazilian government in proposing or implementing measures aimed at the exchange and/or the reduction of indigenous lands, to put pressure on the Government so that it reaffirms the conclusions of the Working Group and to mobilise supporting organizations in the same direction, and to ask customers, shareholders and investors of ARCEL to ask the company to recognise the report of the Working Group of FUNAI and to collaborate in the just demarcation of the land claimed by the indigenous communities.