Subject: UA Guarani Community of Sucurity Threatened


For the third time, the Guarani community of Sucuriy returned to their land on March 11, 1997. The area, which was legally demarcated in 1996, has yet to have been disoccupied by the rancher who claims it as his own. In December 1996, the community made an attempt to return to the area, only to be evicted by an armed group composed of the rancher, Sebastiao Alves Marcond es, other landowners, and the mayor.

The Guarani Kaiowa of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, have faced constant threat of eviction over the past several years. Their lands are in many cases invaded by ranchers, even though some are legally demarcated. This situation has led to a large amount of deforestation in the area, as well a serious loss of cultural identity and traditional practices. Many Guarani communities, including that of Sucuriy, have lived for years evicted from their land and by the sides of the roads. Conditions are bleak, and have brought about a high rate of suicide in a few communities.

On March 3, Judge Jean Marcos Ferriera of Campo Grande issued a ruling guaranteeing the Sucuriy community's right to their land, and giving rancher Sebasti o Alves Marcondes 30 days to leave the area . The community returned on March 11, believing in the ruling. On March 12, however, a judge in Sao Paulo overruled the decision, responding to a petition submitted by the rancher. The community i s therefore in a tenuous situation once again, on their land but faced with a real threat of eviction. They could be evicted at any moment.

This worries us tremendously, because the Guarani have said that they will not leave their land without a fight, and to the death. This is especially serious because in the past, the evictions have been carried out illegally by armed groups of ranchers. We fear for the well-being of the community, and join CIMI in urging that you to write the authorities involved, expressing your concern for t he safety and the future of the Guarani community of Sucuriy.

Please write to:

Prefeito Municipal de Maracaju
Sr. Reinaldo Azambuja da Silva Fax: 011 55 67 454 2418 (The mayor of the town, who accompanied the rancher during the eviction in December)

Ministro do Tribunal Regional Federal da Terceira Regiao Roberto Haddad Fax: 011 55 11 605 3994 (The judge in Sao Paulo)

Juiz da Primeira Vara Federal de Campo Grande Dr. Jean Marcos Ferreira Fax: 011 55 67 726 3223 (The judge in Campo Grande)

Governador do Estado do Mato Grosso do Sul Dr. Wilson Barbosa Martins Fax: 011 55 67 726 4176

Exmo. Sr.
Presidente da Republica
Dr. Fernando Henrique Cardoso Fax: 011 55 61 226 7566

Please send copies to Amanaka'a at: (212) 253 9507 or at our e-mail account. Thanks! For further information, please contact Amanaka'a or CIMI.

Source: CIMI, March 14, 1997