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From sejup1@ax.apc.org Mon Sep 11 10:30:35 2000
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2000 23:54:08 -0500 (CDT)
From: SEJUP <sejup1@ax.apc.org>
Subject: News from Brazil, No. 416
Article: 104551
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Guarani retake ancestral land

SEJUP (Servico Brasileiro de Justica e Paz),
News from Brazil,
Number 416, 8 September 2000

A group of 200 Guarani men, women and children have retaken ancestral land located in the state of Santa Catarina. Their land was taken over in the 1920's by a real estate company named Colonizadora Sul Brasil. The state gave away the 49 hectares to the company at a time when the country was trying to settle lands. As a result, the Guarani were violently forced off their land and relocated to another indigenous reserve inhabited by the Kaingang. After 80 years, and after becoming more aware of their right to traditional territory, the Guarani returned to their land, now owned by businessman Carlos Francisco Zimmer. Zimmer has obtained a court order for the expulsion of the Guarani. If they do not leave the land in 45 days, they will be evicted by the police.

The Guarani make up the biggest group of indigenous people in Brazil with a population of 30,000. They live in the states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Espirito Santo, Mato Grosso and Maranhao. They were the first to make contact with the colonizers and have been in resistence for 500 years.