URGENT petition – Statement Of International Solidarity With The Pataxó
Statement by Indigenous Activists and Scholars at Anai (National Association of Indigenous Action):
“In the last two months we have witnessed, and have been terrified and outraged by, a series of episodes of violence against the Pataxó indigenous people, in the extreme south region of the state of Bahia in Brazil. The present violence mainly affects the villages of Boca da Mata and Cassiana, on the Barra Velha do Monte Pascoal Indigenous Land in the municipality of Porto Seguro, as well as communities on the Comexatibá Indigenous Land which is adjacent to the former in the municipality of Prado. The violence is being carried out by armed militias, but also includes consistent reports of police participation. It is explicitly and openly promoted by the invaders of these lands. It involves shootings against indigenous communities, road blocks to prevent the free movement of indigenous people – including for basic needs such as access to work, to purchase food, to go to school, for access to health care – in addition to other actions of intimidation, threats and promoting terror that mainly victimizes the most vulnerable segments of the communities, such as the elderly, women, young people and children.
The Barra Velha do Monte Pascoal and Comexatibá Indigenous Lands have both had their boundaries approved by Brazilian Government (Funai), respectively since 2009 and 2015, but their demarcation processes have been blocked by the Ministry of Justice, in the context of the genocidal policy of “not demarcating a millimeter of land Indigenous” commanded by the current federal government. The present violence is part of a longer sporadic history of violence including massacre for land theft and the non-recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights to the land. Specifically, white settler farmers periodically seek to appropriate the land.
The Pataxó people are demanding an immediate end to the present violence, the full demarcation of their land, and total respect for their rights to the land.”
We the undersigned international indigenous groups and allies express our solidarity with the Pataxó people as they struggle to end the violence perpetrated against them, for the full demarcation of their land and for the right to live in peace on their land.