Newsletter n. 189


    Working for several months, the special commission of the National
Congress which is studying how to make the Calha Norte Project 
feasible took advantage of the crisis of the Investigation and 
Surveillance System of the Amazon Region (Sivam) to propose that the 
Calha Norte Project should be resumed as a complement to Sivam, which 
is the target of growing denunciations of corruption. Devised by the 
National Security Council in 1985, Calha Norte would be implemented on 
the border between Brazil and five countries, covering 6,771 km. It 
was partly implemented and then suspended due to financial problems. 
It is a development and militarist project that includes the setting 
up of Armed Forces stations in Indian areas, as was the case in the 
Yanomami territory. Of the actions of Calha Norte was to encourage 
mining activities, one of the factors causing health problems to 
Indians in Amazonia.
    When it was launched, Cimi prepared a dossier with heavy 
accusations against the project, which was particularly analyzed in 
its genocidal features. The ideological concept of Calha Norte is 
based on the false assumption that was very much used by the military 
dictatorship that the region must be ``protected'' against the 
internationalization of Amazonia and that Indian peoples must be 
prevented from establishing independent States. 60,000 Tukano, Baniwa, 
Kuripako, Tikuna, Yanomami, Mayongong, Taurepang, Macuxi and Wapixana 
Indians live in the area covered by Calha Norte and Sivam.


    The minister of Justice, Nelson Jobim, signed on Monday, December 
11, an administrative decree authorizing the demarcation of the 
Panambizinho reservation in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. The 
decree was signed during the two-day visit which the minister paid to 
the reservations of the Guarani-Kaiowa Indians, which coincided with 
the hanging of two additional Indians, raising to 54 the number of 
suicides registered among Indians this year. The reservation was 
expanded from 60 to 1,240 hectares. Farmers and other people who are 
against the demarcation watched from afar as the minister signed the 
decree. On Tuesday, the 12th, two councilmen from the city expressed 
their disagreement with the demarcation, saying that conflicts, and 
even a bloodshed, may result from the decision.
    The Panambizinho area is but one of the 22 Guarani-Kaiowa villages 
facing overcrowding problems because of the reduction of their land. 
The Kaiowa had been fighting for expanding this area for over 57 years 
and they demand the same treatment for the remaining reservations.

                    Brasilia, December 15th, 1995
                     Indianist Missionary Council