English: Open Letter – Assembly of the National Commission of Guarani Land Yvy Rupa
November 20 of 2008.
Between the days of November 17 and 21, one more Assembly of the Guarani People was realized, where caciques and leaders were present from all of our villages located in the states of Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. The Assembly took place in the Village Araça’i, in the municipality of Piraquara/PR, and was organized through the National Commission of Guarani Land Yvy Rupa, which is the legitimate representation of our people standing before the Brazilian authorities and national society.
The Commission Yvy Rupa was formed in the year 2006 and made official in a hearing conducted in January of 2007, in the 6th Chamber of the Federal Public Ministry [6ª Câmara do Ministério Público Federal], in Brasilia. Our organization has as base of support the Guarani communities themselves, represented by our own traditional leaders, which are the Caciques and the Elders.
The situation of our people continues to be very grave. The same being the most numerous of indigenous people in Brazil, we have very small extensions of demarcated lands, and our villages, situated in regions of great economic interest, suffer constant pressures from anti-indigenous sectors dominated by the power of capital and covetousness of the whites.
Our struggle, which dates from the Portuguese invasion in our territory, has very important victories in recent years. We commemorate the decree declarations that recognize the Guarani-Tupiniquim Indigenous Land in Espirito Santo, the Indigenous Lands Morro dos Cavalos and Guarani of Araçaí in Santa Catarina, and the T.I. Ribeirão Silveira in São Paulo. Also, we are gladdened with the approval by Funai of the Identification Reports of the T.I.s Taumã, Pirai, Pindoty and Morro Alto, also in Santa Catarina. These victories are the result of the struggle of the Guarani People and of the strengthening of our organization by means of the creation of the Commission Yvy Rupa.
Nonetheless, many sectors of Brazilian society persist in treating us with prejudice, ignoring our rights guaranteed by Article 231 of the Brazilian Federal Constitution and refined through Convention 169 of the ILO, and through the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations.
We are indignant with the actions for reintegration of possession that are being moved by those said to be owners of our traditional lands and attended to by judges who ignore Brazilian legislation. The most alarming case was that of the village of Arroio do Conde, in the municipality of Eldorado do Sul/RS, when Indigenous families were expulsed with police violence when they were camped outside of the property of the FEPAGRO, which took the action in a clear demonstration of arbitrary judicial power. For this reason, we are very concerned about other villages, which suffer pressures of reintegration of possession, as are those of Lami in Porto Alegre/RS, Palmital and Terra Roxa in Paraná, and Camboinhas in Niterói/RJ.
Also, we are very concerned with the indefinite nature of the process of identification of the Indigenous Lands of Barragem, Krukutu and Jaraguá, in the municipality of São Paulo, initiated in 2002 and even now awaiting completion. Our villages are ever more threatened by the unrestrained expansion of the city, and aggravated by large enterprises which impact our lands and our environment, like the electrical transmission line of Furnas and Rodoanel.
Other large enterprises also threaten our territory prior to our rights being guaranteed by demarcation of our lands. Of such gravity is the case of Porto Brasil, projected by the LLX, which intends to pass above the Indigenous Land Piaçaguera. We await assurance from FUNAI and from the Ministry of Justice in the finalization of the process of foundational regularization of this land with all speed possible.
There are still emergency situations for the Guarani villages situated in the region of São Miguel do Iguaçu and Guaíra, PR, in need of a foundational definition, which could minimally rescue the immense historic divide which the Itaipu [hydropower plant] and the Union has with our people through the flooding of the most important part of our traditional territory and by the creation of the National Park of Iguaçu which culminated in the expulsion of our families from their own villages.
There are innumerable other areas that do not have their process of regularization so much as even initiated and which also suffer constant pressures from sectors opposed to the Indigenous. It is fitting to emphasize the encampments situated at the sides of the Brazilian Highways (BRs), especially in Rio Grande do Sul, where Guarani families await a definition regarding their lands from which they were expulsed. Also the region of Vale do Ribeira in SP, where we have 11 villages without any administrative provision, and with two of these suffering pressures from the Secretary of the Environment due to the superimposition of Units of Conservation.
The realization of this Assembly of Guarani People demonstrates the force of our struggle through guarantee of our territorial rights. The National Commission Yvy Rupa, legitimate representative of our people, will always move forward on this long path toward regaining the liberty of living, in peace, our own way of life. We are prepared for the challenges placed before us and will never desist from asserting our rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
Ha’ewte katu pavë.
Thank you to all.
National Assembly of Guarani People.
National Commission of Guarani Land Yvy Rupa.