Cimi Newsletter n. 187


    The Interamerican Human Rights Commission of the Organization of 
American States (OAS) will arrive in Brazil this Monday, December 4, 
to gather basic information for a report on Human Rights in Brazil. 
The seven-member commission is expected to visit president
Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the Human Rights Commission of the Chamber
of Deputies, authorities, and entities of the civil society of eight 
Brazilian states. The main topics to be addressed are the Indian 
issue, slave labor, police violence, and the murder of rural leaders.
At the suggestion of the Human Rights Commission of the Chamber of
Deputies, the commission may visit the Guarani-Kaiowa area (where the 
suicide rate has been increasing on a daily basis).
    The report will be concluded by mid-1996 with recommendations to
the Brazilian authorities. In Brazil, the power of the report is 
political and moral, since the country does not recognize the
jurisdiction of the Interamerican Human Rights Court, which can judge
and convict States for individual cases of human rights violation.


    After insistent appeals and much political pressure, the Court of
Law of Juina, state of Mato Grosso do Sul, scheduled for December 14 
an audience to hear prosecuting witnesses of the murder of priest 
Vicente Ca~nas in April of 1987. Six persons are being accused of the 
crime, including farmers of the region and a former police officer. 
Vicente Ca~nas was a Spanish Jesuit priest naturalized Brazilian who 
worked with Indian peoples for almost twenty years. When he was
killed, he was working with the Enawene-Nawe  people (Saluma~ area),
which gave him the name Kiwxi. Farmers regarded him as the person 
responsible for the resistance posed by Indians against
the invasion of their territory.
    The murder of Ca~nas was clarified through an investigation 
carried out by Cimi and OPAN (Anchieta Operation), in parallel to the 
one made by the police. The judgement is being anxiously expected, as 
social movements of the city fear that it may be postponed once more, 
as in 1994. Because of this possibility, we are asking that faxes be 
sent to the authorities listed hereunder with the following suggested 
    ``We ask the competent authorities to do their best to clarify the
murder of priest Vicente Ca~nas in 1987 in the Saluma~ Indian area in 
the municipality of Juina, state of Mato Grosso do Sul.''
    The faxes should be sent to:

Mr. Dante de Oliveira                  Mr. Antonio Hans
M.D. Governor of Mato Grosso           State Attorney of Mato Grosso
Fax: (065) 644.2205                    Fax: (065) 322.8937

Mr. Licinio Carpinelli                 Marcos J. Martins Siqueira
President of the Supreme Court of      Judge of the Juina County-MT
Mato Grosso                            Fax: (065) 566.1929
Fax: (065)644.1051

                     Brasilia, November 30, 1995
                     Indianist Missionary Council