Newsletter n. 226


The Catholic Church will be organizing on September 7 the "Shout of the Socially Marginalized" with the topic "Work and Land to Live in". The event will gather thousands of persons in demonstrations throughout the country. The objective of the "Shout" is to redeem the true sense of independence and draw the attention of the public to the social injustice that prevails in Brazilian society. The main part of the demonstration will be the "shaking of keys" at 12:00 a.m. It is the second time that the social pastoral sector of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) organizes the "Shout of the Socially Marginalized" during the celebrations of the independence of the Brazilian State.

In Aparecida do Norte, state of Sao Paulo, the "Shout of the Socially Marginalized" is concurrently held with the Workers' Pilgrimage, which has been organized by the Workers' Pastoral in the last nine years. In some cities, CIMI and representatives of indigenous organizations will attend the demonstrations to draw attention to the problem of the nondemarcation of indigenous lands. In Eldorado dos Carajas, state of Para, the Workers' Party and the Landless Movement (MST) will stage a demonstration to recall the massacre of 19 landless workers. Next, an ecumenical ceremony will be celebrated in Maraba by the bishop of the Prelacy of Xingu and former president of CIMI, Dom Erwin Krautler, the regional president of the CNBB, Dom Jose Elias, and Dom Jose Vieira, the bishop of Maraba, which will be attended by entities which make up the Land Reform Forum, national and international human rights entities, and state and federal members of parliament, among other personalities and organizations.


There is a war strategy against indigenous peoples in Brazil.

This is what Wilson Pataxo, representative of the Articulation of Indigenous Organizations of the Northeast, Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo - APOINME, denounced at a round table on the quality of life of indigenous peoples during the 10th National Health Conference. The event is taking place this week in Brasilia. The round table gathered representatives of various health institutions. In addition to Wilson Pataxo, the meeting was attended by Clovis Ambrosio, from the Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR), who highlighted the importance of the work being carried out by indigenous health agents.

Wilson Pataxo denounced that the lack of health care is "a powerful weapon to eliminate Brazilian indigenous peoples". Of each 100 Indians who died in the period between September 1994 and December 1995, 22.3% did not have any medical assistance. In this period, 2,591 Indians died, and no diagnosis is available for 579 of them. According to Ana Costa, director of Funai's health care department, these deaths were caused by the insufficiency of funds allocated to the sector. Last year, the agency invested US$ 20 for each of the 334 thousand Brazilian Indians. The participants in the panel unanimously called for the holding of the 3rd National Conference on Indigenous Health and the implementation of the Special Indigenous Sanitary Districts throughout the country.

Brasilia, 6 September 1996
Indianist Missionary Council - CIMI