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Brazilian Indians Ask World Bank To Suspend Funds From G7

From Glen Switkes <glen@irn.org>,
6 February 1996

(Brasilia, February 6, 1996) The Unity Council of Brazilian Indigenous Peoples and Organizations (CAPOIB) has asked the World Bank to suspend funds for all projects for demarcation of Indian lands in Brazil, including the Indigenous Lands, Planafloro, and Prodeagro projects.

In the letter they say that all signs point to the total and complete inviability of carrying out any plan or project to regularize and demarcate indigenous lands in a way which meets the real needs of indigenous peoples, given the current indigenous policy (of the Brazilian government), which is based upon the recent decree 1776/96.

CAPOIB cited a consistent policy of the Cardoso presidency to satiate special interests intent upon seizing indigenous lands. They also say the decree has emboldened invaders of Indian lands, including gold miners in the area of the Munduruku Indians, and ranchers on Macuxi Indian territory.

CAPOIB syas that there are now legal obstacles which subvert the demarcation process to political pressures, open up claims for compensation to Brazilian states and local governments, and create the real possibility that indigenous territories, if demarcated at all, will be sharply reduced under pressure from local interests.