December 6, 2012 was the deadline for removal of illegal invaders in the Xavante Indigenous territory of Marãiwatsede in Mato Grosso state. The invaders remain and the situation continues to be very tense in the region. Xavante’s allies, among them the 84 year old Bishop Pere Casaldàliga, continue to receive death threats.
According to information collected by the Federal Public Ministry, INCRA (Institute for Agrarian Reform) and FUNAI and provided in reporting by Rodrigo Vargas from O DIARIO, among those who refuse to leave are current and past mayors, council members, ranch and business owners and a Supreme Court Judge. On the list are: State Supreme Court Judge Manoel Ornellas, of São Félix do Araguaia; Mohamad Zaher, who sits on the Rondonópolis town council; former Alto Boa Vista mayor, Aldecides Cirqueira, and his brother, Antônio Cirqueira. The brothers together control seven ranches in the Xavante Indigenous Territory.
The largest ranch within the Marãiwatsed Indigenous territory -- according to the Attorney General, 6.193 hectares called “Jordão” -- is owned by Antônio Mamed Jordão, ex-vice-mayor of the town of Alto Boa Vista. State Supreme Court Judge, Manoel Ornellas is listed as owning two areas (both identified as Fazenda São Francisco de Assis) totaling 886 hectares. Gilberto Luiz de Rezende, known locally as “Gilbertão” or “Big Gilberto,” who is recognized as the chief coordinator of illegal land grabbing and deforestation is listed as owning 2.636 hectares in Marãiwatsédé. The Attorney General’s Report cites Taquari, Admilson Luiz de Rezende , Gilbertão’s brother and former council member for the town of Alto, as occupying three areas that together 6.640 hectares.
The federal government is doubling security as it moves forward with the removal of non-indigenous occupants of the Marawãitsede Indigenous Territory. As of December 17, 26 ranches have been targeted for security reinforcements. In response, demonstrators have put up road blocks that have paralyzed several stretches of BR-158 highway.
A letter written by chief Damião in August 2012 is accessible here:
Xavante elder’s tell their story of the invasion of their lands here:
See also: http://www.formad.org.br/?p=2044
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