The special rapporteur of the United Nations Organization (UNO) on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Doudou Diène, began a trip to Brazil in the Federal Capital on October 17 hearing reports from civil-society representatives and organizations who accuse the Brazilian government and State of being the main promoters of discrimination in Brazil.
The chief of the Krahô-Kanela people, Mariano Ribeiro, reported the suffering of 96 Krahô-Kanela who over the past two years have been forced to live in a 100 m² (1072 square feet) house in the municipality of Gurupi, in the northern state of Tocantins, where the public garbage dump of the city used to be located.
As a result, over 80% of them may die of verminosis. Without enough space for growing crops or making a living, the Krahô-Kanela have been claiming 29,300 hectares of their traditional land, which is called Mata Alagada, for more than 20 years.
After hearing the report from Mariano Ribeiro, Diène said that, like in Brazil, indigenous people are the main victims of prejudice in other countries he visited.
"Discrimination against indigenous peoples is the root of the problem. In the beginning, people discussed, based on racist positions, whether indigenous people had a human soul or not.
"Discrimination against indigenous people led to discrimination against black people, and this is why these two forms of prejudice are intimately connected to one another," recalled the UN rapporteur.
Diène will also be visiting the cities of Recife and Pesqueira, where he will visit the land of the Xukuru people. The first results of the trip will be presented on November 7 to the UN.
Cimi – Indianist Missionary Council – www.cimi.org.br