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From sejup1@ax.apc.org Sun Sep 24 14:32:57 2000
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2000 00:37:14 -0500 (CDT)
From: SEJUP <sejup1@ax.apc.org>
Subject: News from Brazil, No. 418
Article: 105498
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Court sets deadline for the Guarani of Araca'i

Cimi, 14 September 2000

Federal judge Narciso Leandro Xavier Baez decided to set a deadline of 20 days for Funai to find a peaceful solution for the situation of Guarani families that, on July 10, reoccupied 49 hectares of the Guarani area that were invaded by farmer Carlos Francisco Zimmer in Saudades, western part of the state of Santa Catarina. The Guarani want an area called Araça'í, where indigenous cemeteries are located, to be demarcated. A few days after the Guarani reoccupied the area, the farmer filed an action for repossession to expel the indigenous people from it. The first hearing was held on Friday, September 8. The federal court expects the Technical Group charged with studying the presence of indigenous people in the region in question to resume their work within these 20 days. Judge Baez, however, determined that the studies are to be limited to the land occupied by the Guarani and are not to be extended to the whole area they claim is traditionally theirs. After the deadline, the action will be judged once again. The city hall of Saudades and local businessman are confident that the indigenous people will be expelled from the area, but the Guarani claim that they have the right to stay in it. Francisco Zimmer says that he bought the land from Companhia Territorial Sul Brasil, a private corporation. During the colonization of Brazil's southern region in the 1920s, the state of Santa Catarina gave large land areas for certain companies to settle people in them. Many of these lands were originally inhabited by indigenous people, who ended up being violently expelled from them and forced to live in other villages. Part of the community of Araça'í went to the Nonoai indigenous area, located between the municipalities of Nonoai, Rio dos Índios, Planalto, and Gramado dos Loureiros, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The Guarani, however, have always been aware of their right to live in their original territory, and now they are fighting to have it demarcated. Supported by allies, they have launched an international campaign aimed at persuading the courts to allow them to stay in the area.