It was 10 pm, Saturday, March 17, when Helenildo Bataru Egiri, a 20-year-old member of the indigenous Bororo people, answered the door to some unknown men who were asking for water. When he gave them the water, he was shot three times at point blank range and killed by the men, who were in a taxi.
His family has never left the Bororo people's 4,706-hectare Jarudóri indigenous land, which was invaded in the 1950s and which has been the object of a public civil action since July 2006. A Bororo group opened a new settlement in the area in June 2006, and ever since then there have been threats and attempted homicides.
The Jarudóri land, in the municipality of Poxoréu, in the state of Mato Grosso, has been registered for more than 50 years, but is still occupied by non-indigenous people. The Salesian missionaries who operate in the region have been suffering pressure and threats, especially where their work with the Bororo people in the Jarudóri land is concerned.
On December 5, 2006, the Attorney General's Office in Cuiabá, the capital of Mato Grosso, received reports of several death threats that land grabbers had made against the group of the Bororo chief, Maria Aparecida Toro Ekureudo.
In the early hours of December 26, her son-in-law, João Osmar ("Gaúcho"), was the victim of a murder attempt and his truck was set on fire as he was leaving the indigenous land.
He was treated, in a state of shock, at the Primavera do Leste First Aid Center and the Indigenous People's Health Center in Cuiabá, before being transferred to a safer place.
The Public Prosecutor's Office has insistently petitioned for an inquiry, and one was finally opened on January 9, 2007 (No. 3-004/2007). The local branch of Funai has oriented the Federal Police Chief that this enquiry does not fall within the Federal Police's remit, because there were no indigenous victims.
Cimi – Indianist Missionary Council