World: Indigenous Warfare in Western Brazil

Trouble is brewing in western Brazil as, according to members of the Guarani-Kaiowa indigenous group; the group has come under attack from local farmers. A large group of men in 30 vehicles reportedly drove onto the indigenous group’s land and started shooting randomly. “They came in and began to shoot everywhere,” said Guarani-Kaiowa leader Ezequiel Guyra Kambi’y. “Our warriors began to pull back, but they kept pushing, driving towards us and shooting. We had to run away and hide in the forest.” The farmers returned that evening and fired more than 50 shots.

Tensions have been high between the indigenous group and the farmers since an indigenous leader was killed last week during a land occupation protest. Federal troops have been sent in to restore order to the area and prosecutors have opened up an investigation into accusations that local farmers have set up a militia to fight the indigenous groups.

The violence had initially started when about 1,000 Guarani-Kaiowa occupied five ranches on August 22 and took hostages which were later released. The group states that the ranches are on ancestral lands which had been stolen from them.

Contributor: Katie Campbell

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