Tupinambá Indigenous Territory: Immediate Completion of Legal Recognition!

We demand of the Brazilian state urgent completion of the legal demarcation process in the case of the Tupinambá of Olivença Indigenous Territory, located in Bahia state. Despite that fact that it has been clearly documented that this is traditional Tupinambá land, even so, in clear violation of Brazilian law and international treaties, the legalization process has dragged on for nine years, exacerbating the conflict in the region. Immediate demarcation (completion of the legal recognition process) is vital! Sign the petition.

Why this is important – Victims of ever more violent actions, the Tupinambá people who live in the state of Bahia (Brazil) have waited nine years for the completion of the demarcation process with respect to the Tupinambá of Olivença Indigenous Territory. Their original rights, which at present are being violated by the Brazilian State, are guaranteed by the 1988 Constitution and enshrined in Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted by Brazil in 2002.

The Tupinambá people have been the victims of the decision by the government of President Dilma Rousseff to support agribusiness. Studies that prove conclusively that the territory has been occupied traditionally by these indigenous peoples have been completed and accepted in court, so it is now up to the Justice Minister, José Eduardo Cardozo, to sign the decree declaring official recognition as Indigenous Land. The document has been in the hands of the minister for about a year and a half, even though the legislation determines that within 30 days of receipt the Minister must take appropriate action. This blatant omission by the state has generated worsening tension in the south of Bahia. In August 2013 a truck carrying indigenous and non-indigenous students was targeted, leaving two young people wounded; and attackers set fire to the houses of indigenous people and government vehicles, as well as perpetrating other acts of violence.

Politicians and farmers of the region, with the support of the local media, have been committing crimes against the community, disseminating untrue information about the legal regularization of the Tupinambá of Olivença Indigenous Territory, inciting violence and prejudice. Note that Brazilian law provides for the resettlement of non-indigenous occupants, in good faith, by the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) and stipulates that they receive compensation for their investments, to be paid by the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI). Thus, the rights of all people, indigenous and non-indigenous, are guaranteed by law, as a means of attaining justice and promoting peace.

For these reasons, we reject the arbitrary and criminal attitude of the federal government, through the Ministry of Justice and other relevant bodies, in relation to the resolution of the conflict affecting the Tupinambá people and we call on all society, in Brazil and abroad, to support the struggle for regularization of the Tupinambá of Olivença Indigenous Territory and to demand that the President of the Republic, Dilma Rousseff, respect the Constitution and the indigenous peoples of Brazil.


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