Date: Tue, 9 Apr 1996 

Newsletter n. 204



After 14 years of constant conflicts, the Ava-Guarani Indians in Parana-Pora, state of Parana, may receive 1,500 hectares from the binational Itaipu power plant in exchange for the immemorial Indian area which the plant is occupying. It was a promise made by the Brazilian director of the plant, Euclides Scalco, as a result of a meeting with indigenous leaders on March 13. Additionally, Scalco took on the commitment to donate potable water to the Indians and to let them plant their crops in a 7-hectare area until the 1,500-hectare area is cleared. The traditional land of the Ava-Guarani was occupied by the plant in 1992, when the its floodgates began to be closed to form the dam, flooding part of the indigenous area. So far, Itaipu had not recognized the existence of an indigenous community in that area and had done all that it could to remove them to the Paraguayan side. After many negotiations, the Ava-Guarani population, made up of 300 Indians, was transferred to an area of only 240 hectares.Three years later, the land, whose size was insufficient to meet their most basic needs, became unbearably small for a community which, tired of waiting for a solution, ended up occupying over 622.9 hectares on June 15 of last year. In this occupation, the Ava-Guarani were supported by Guarani groups from the states of Sao Paulo, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul and Espirito Santo. In Cimi's opinion, the promise made by the Itaipu power plant does not mean that the problem will be solved, but it represents a remarkable advance in the fight of the community, as for the first time in 14 years the Binational Plant take on a public commitment to return to the community an area that was taken from it. The Ava-Guarani will remain on the alert, as similar promises in the past were never fulfilled. GOVERNOR IS ACCUSED OF THEFT IN INDIAN AREA The Office of the Attorney General of the state of Acre filed a suit against the governor of the state, Oleir Cameli, accusing him of having stolen 2,700 cubic meters of mahogany from an area belonging to the Kampa Indians. In addition to Cameli, the accusation involves the company Marmud Cameli, a former director of Funai, Hissa Abraao, and Abrao Candido da Silva. According to the attorney general of the state, Luiz Francisco Fernandes de Souza, the defendants owe an indemnification of R$ 14 million (about 14 million US dollars) to the Kampa Indians for the theft of the hardwood and for moral and environmental damages. The attorney general wants the governor to be sentenced to reforest the area with his own money. Cameli is the target of seven investigations being carried out by the High Court of Judicature. Thirteen additional accusations against the governor will be referred to the office of the attorney general, which will probably give rise to a new investigation. Among other things, the governor is being accused of smuggling, tax evasion and exploitation of slave labor. Brasilia, 03 April 1996 Indianist Missionary Council - CIMI