10 Indigenous People Shot, 1 Killed in Brazil
Cloudione Souza, a 26-year-old member of the Kaiowa Indigenous community, was shot and killed Tuesday morning during an attack allegedly perpetrated by local landowners and hired henchmen.
Community leaders say the incident began when vehicles started assembling at the location of the community’s territory in the municipality of Caarapo in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.
The community’s territory is formally recognized as Indigenous land by the Brazilian government.
According to Brasil de Fato, 300 Indigenous people had reclaimed 12,000 acres of land within the area of land demarcated as Indigenous lands, provoking the ire of nearby landowners.
Witnesses said up to 70 armed individuals arrived early Tuesday morning to forcibly expel those occupying the land. They reportedly began burning vehicles and homes before opening fire on those present.
Ten people were wounded, including a 12-year-old boy, AFP reported. The figure is expected to rise as many people fled after the attack and have not reported to the hospital.
In a video recorded by witnesses, the assailants can be heard calling out to those present, using a racial slur to refer to the Indigenous people.
The Indigenous Missionary Council said this was the 25th paramilitary attack on Indigenous people since the 2013 murder of Terena Osiel Gabriel, an Indigenous leader from the community of Buriti.
The council said nearly 400 Indigenous Kaiowa-Guarani people had been killed in land disputes since 2003.
“This is a slow-motion genocide. There is a war against us. We are afraid. They kill our leaders, hide their bodies, intimidate and threaten us,” said community leader Tonico Benites Guarani during a visit to Europe last month.
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