Brazilian Indians threaten mass suicide over loss of land
October 24, 2012
Approximately 100 adults and 70 children members of the indigenous tribe Guarani-Kaiowa announced this week that they prefer collective death to leave the Cambar’s farm in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, where they settled, than to accept the Federal Court rule that everyone should leave immediately.
The collective death threat, interpreted as a warning of collective suicide, was made in a letter to the Indigenous Missionary Council, which reaffirms that the Indians will not abide by the decision of the court. The Indians say they are not going to leave the region. They call this region ‘tekoha’ which means ancestral cemetery.
According to the Federal Court’s decision, the Indians must leave the farm and if they do not, the National Foundation of Indians, FUNAI, will have to pay a fine of approximately $ 250 per day.
According to the Indians Missionary Council, the Guarani-Kaiowa tribe is known for continuing acts of suicide and almost every six days, one tribesman kills himself, because of the stress of the threat of being evicted from their land.
In the letter sent to Federal Court, they demanded that the decision be over ruled, for the reason that they won’t leave the grounds of their ancestors. They also ask that the Justice secure their rights to be buried in these lands, so that even in their dead bed, they will continue to occupy their territory.
This is heartbreaking. We’ll continue to track the story & post updates.