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"It is necessary to occupy politics",say indigenous people at the opening of Acampamento Terra Livre

Largest indigenous mobilization in the country began this Monday (4) and runs until April 14, in Brasília (DF)

Published in Brasil de Fato

"É preciso ocupar a política", dizem indígenas na abertura do Acampamento Terra Livre
Crédito: Divulgação/APIB

The largest indigenous mobilization in the country, the Acampamento Terra Livre (ATL), began this Monday (4) and runs until April 14, in Brasília (DF). With the motto “Retaking Brazil: demarcating territories and village politics”, the 18th edition of the ATL should bring together around 8,000 representatives of indigenous peoples.

In a press conference given by indigenous leaders at the opening of the camp, Sônia Guajajara, executive coordinator of the Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, presented the main political agendas of the mobilization.

"Let's talk about the main anti-indigenous measures and the destructive package that is being processed in the Três Poderes. Let's talk about the impacts of mining, mining, deforestation, which are bringing violence, conflicts and dissatisfaction among our indigenous peoples", said Guajajara.

Chief Marcos Xucuru, from the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples and Organizations of the Northeast, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo (Apoinme), said that the event shows that the native peoples understand that "it is necessary to occupy and assume this role in politics".

"The agenda brought to the ATL today, and has always been the fundamental issue, is the territorial one. After 500 years, the Brazilian State has a very large deficit in relation to the demarcation of indigenous lands. The resistance of the people comes from this perspective, from the guarantee of the delimitation and demarcation of our territories, which is where the sovereignty of each people, of each family, of each indigenous person is, which goes beyond the physical issue, within our cosmic perspective, our religiosity and our ancestry ", declared the chief.

See the press conference HERE

The resumption, after two years, of the face-to-face format of Acampamento Terra Livre takes place at a time when the appreciation of the so-called “Mining Project” has become a matter of urgency. PL 191/2020 provides that mining companies and other sectors that involve large infrastructure explorations take place within Indigenous Lands (TIs).

This is just one among other bills being processed in the National Congress and which are called, in a notice issued by APIB, “projects of death”.

2022 schedule

As part of the ten days' activities, in addition to demonstrations and assemblies, plenary sessions will take place on the impact and threat of the actions of the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary to indigenous territories; a virtual plenary with the European Parliament and the United Nations (UN); conversations about health, economics, education, diversity and youth; as well as a rescue of 18 years of Acampamento Terra Livre.

On Friday (8), the “caravan of the natives” is scheduled and activities about the body as territory and indigenous ancestry. “We for those who preceded us, we for us and we for those who will come” is the name of one of the scheduled meetings. On the last day, the plenary session #LutaPelaVida takes place, on the alliance of social movements to strengthen indigenous struggles.

“From the Terra Livre Camp, we also identify situations that are happening in all states, we exchange information, experiences and more and more new leaders are presenting themselves and being trained”, says Kerexu.

The origin of Camp Terra Livre

It was 2004 when a group of indigenous people from the south of Brazil, from the Kaingang, Guarani and Xokleng peoples, traveled to Brasília to present their demands in defense of the land to the authorities. They arrived and were not attended to. It was necessary to schedule, to wait.

They then decided to camp in front of the National Congress. “From there, other relatives begin to arrive, join this movement, to give strength”, says Kerexu Yxapyry, leader of the Guarani Mbya people of the Morro dos Cavalos village, in Palhoça (SC), coordinator of the Guarani Yvyrupa Commission (CGY) and the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (Apib), which organizes the ATL.

“The mobilization gains visibility and this movement begins to grow. It then becomes a national movement of all indigenous peoples in Brazil that, every year in April, meets in Brasília at the Acampamento Terra Livre”, she narrates.

“It is also to say that 'Indian Day' on April 19 is not a day to celebrate. In order to celebrate, it is necessary to demarcate our territories”, says the Guarani Mbya leader.

“We have very big challenges ahead”, says Kerexu Yxapyry. “But we are very aware of what we want”, she concluded.

Editing: Rebeca Cavalcante


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