Hundreds of Evicted Brazilian Indians Have Nowhere to Go

Junei Marques, the mayor of the town of Antônio João, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, says he wants the National Indian Foundation (Fundação Nacional do Àndio) (Funai) to arrange temporary shelter for a group of Guarani-Kaiowá Indians on an Army post.

Last week, in another chapter in a longstanding land dispute, some 700 Guarani-Kaiowás were forcefully dislodged from an area between Antônio João and another town, Bela Vista, by some 150 police officers and then abandoned on the roadside in the rain.

Marques says he has talked to Mercio Pereira Gomes, the president of Funai, about putting the Indians on a nearby 800-hectare area used for training by the Army. A Funai official on the scene, Odenir Oliveira, describes the situation of the Indians, now numbering 500, as "precarious."

Local merchants have refused to sell canvas or plastic covering that could be used to build shelters for the Indians because of possible retaliation by local farmers, says Oliveira.

He also reports that during the removal of the Indians last Thursday, a pregnant women was frightened by a low-flying helicopter and had a miscarriage. "The removal was violent," declared Oliveira.

It is reported that two groups of representatives of the Guarani-Kaiowá want to meet with authorities to discuss the problem. One group will go to the the nearest large city, Dourados, and another group is on its way to Brasí­lia. They will describe the way they have been treated and seek redress.

Agência Brasil

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