Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Brazil’s Munduruku People Kick Miners Off Their Land, Seize Equipment.


From the department of don't screw with indigenous peoples: the Munduruku people of Brazil assaulted a mining operation in the western region of Para, Brazil in a night raid.

"You have ten minutes to get out. Get your things, go away, and don't come back. This is the land of the Munduruku," Paigomuyatpu, chief of the warriors, said to two of the twelve miners present. Sensing that the chief wasn't someone to take lightly, the miners packed their bags and got out. This kind of illegal exploration and mining inside the Munduruku's indigenous land isn't new. This is a practice that goes back to the 1980's. Clearly, the Munduruku are sick of the exploitation of indigenous labor that don't benefit the tibes or the people.

To the local communities, the miners have caused some serious problems on their lands due to uncontrolled exploitation. Pollution of the river, lack of fish, and overall cultural misunderstandings lead to this confrontation, explained Paigomuyatpu.

“The miners already made too many damages in our territory.  We are evicting problems, sickness, and many other things that are happening.  We are evicting this for our future generation,” he added.

In a letter, the native people have pronounced that they aren't afraid of death and will continue to fight for their rights. Here is the letter in full: 

Carta VI—Letter of the Munduruku Ipereg Ayu Movement 

We, chiefs, leaders, and warriors, came across to greet you, ladies and gentlemen—those who support our movement Munduruku Ipereg Ayu. We, warriors, did our surveillance of our territory.  We took out and expelled the invading miners from our territory and we seized their machines.  Now they are threatening us with death, but we are not intimidated. This is the first step.  We are going to defend our territory, our river, our forest, our riches, and our people until the end.  This is our word. 

We finish this letter with much peace and friendship.  Sawe! Sawe! Sawe!  Sincerely,

Munduruku Apereg Ayu Movement, Carocal Village, Tropas River, In the Municipality of Jacareacanga, West of Para.


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