A shocking report detailing horrific atrocities committed against Brazilian Indians in the 1940s, 50s and 60s has resurfaced – 45 years after it was mysteriously ‘destroyed’ in a fire.
The Figueiredo report was commissioned by the Minister of the Interior in 1967 and caused an international outcry after it revealed crimes against Brazil’s indigenous population at the hands of powerful landowners and the government’s own Indian Protection Service (SPI). The report led to the foundation of tribal rights organization Survival International two years later.
The 7,000-page document, compiled by public prosecutor Jader de Figueiredo Correia, detailed mass murder, torture, enslavement, bacteriological warfare, sexual abuse, land theft and neglect waged against Brazil’s indigenous population. Some tribes were completely wiped out as a result and many more were decimated. Continue reading
Ruth Jean-Pierre, left, and Aluta Marcelin, right. For both, sex with the supervisor was a condition of their job in a factory. Photo: Ansel Herz.
Haitian women workers tell of their experiences in sweatshops. These interviews, gathered over the past two years, are among many dozens that this writer has collected from Haitian sweatshop workers since the early 1980s. Not one has ever diverged from the narrative of miserable working conditions and the inability to feed, shelter, and educate their children on insufficient wages. Below, womentell of their experiences as sweatshop workers and offer their analysis on better types of jobs for Haiti. Continue reading
Latin America Press
Based on the principles of Buen Vivir, indigenous youth in the Amazon create an intercultural community.
University students from seven indigenous communities who live together in the Peruvian city of Iquitos, on the banks of the Amazon River, have created a sustainable community based on the tenets of Buen Vivir, or “good living” — the concept of existing in harmony with other people and with nature.
The youths, of Achuar, Kichwa, Murui, Tikuna, Matsés, Shawi and Awajún descent, decided in 2010 to start the Sustainable Community in the student housing where they live, which is run by the non-governmental organization, Red Ambiental Loretana (The Loreto Environmental Network). The initiative was first launched during their first conference, taking place between February 21 and March 1, during which they established the four pillars on which the community would be based: time, resources, funding and spirit.
Children at the MST’s Frei Henri des Roziers Camp in Pará, Brazil. Credit: Fabíola Ortiz/IPS
By Fabiola Ortiz
The landless peasant farmers occupying large landholdings in Pará, the Brazilian state where the land conflict is most violent, face threats ranging from intimidation by armed private guards to the spraying of toxic agrochemicals over their homes and crops.
MARABÁ, Brazil, Apr 16 2013 (IPS) – Toiling beneath a blazing sun in the humid heat of the Amazon, Waldemar dos Santos, 60, tends the community garden he shares with other landless peasant farmers in the Brazilian state of Pará, as they wait for agrarian reform to provide them with the opportunity for a better life.
Immigrants in a shelter in Brasileia, Acre state Officials in Acre say they need more money to help house the immigrants coming into shelters such as this one in Brasileia
The Brazilian state of Acre has declared a state of emergency after a surge of illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bolivia and Peru.
Officials said most of the immigrants originally came from Haiti but others had come from as far afield as Bangladesh, Senegal and Nigeria.
They said about 1,700 illegal migrants had arrived during the past two weeks.
Acre, in the Amazon region, has asked for additional funding from the federal government to cope with the influx.
More than 5,000 Haitians have arrived in Acre since 2010, but in recent months there has been an increase in immigration from Senegal, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic and Bangladesh. Continue reading
For years, Pierre Rabhi has been recognized as a pioneer in agro-ecology. Currently, he is farming agro-ecology in France and he shared his knowledge of farming practices at a conference last February.
These days, the dictatorship of money dominates the world and this is irreconcilable with the balance between man and nature. Seen through the eyes of money, the earth is like a field brimming over with riches that must at all costs be bled dry in the name of profit. This view is in contradiction to the idea of making good use of natural resources that is at the heart of aggro-ecology whereas industrial agriculture exhausts the land for us and for future generations. The worst thing is that this production model devastates the water, the soil and the climate. We are talking about a model, laid down by agribusiness, which makes intensive use of chemical fertilizers, destroys ecosystems and annihilates small farmers. If we do not manage to balance our farming methods Continue reading
A sign put up by activists in Marabá, Brazil demands justice for the murders of Amazon activists José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and Maria do Espírito Santo. Credit: Fabíola Ortiz/IPS
By Fabiola Ortiz
MARABÁ, Brazil , Apr 5 2013 (IPS) – Peasants and human rights defenders in Brazil are indignant over the acquittal of the man accused of ordering the May 2011 murders of two prominent Amazon activists, José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife Maria do Espírito Santo.
The trial ended Thursday Apr. 4 with the sentencing of two men paid to kill the couple in the Amazon jungle state of Pará. But the third man held for the crime, the landowner accused by the prosecutors of hiring the other two, was absolved on the grounds of insufficient evidence.
The trial was one of the six slated to take place this year in Brazil involving land conflicts, one of the main causes of violence in South America’s giant.
Members of the Israeli company Global CST training Peruvian military in 2009-2010. Credit: IPS
By Ángel Páez
LIMA, Mar 22 2013 (IPS) – The Peruvian legislature is investigating a contract with an Israeli company, entered into by the previous government for advising and training the military, after audit bodies found irregularities in how it was signed.
A congressional oversight commission is investigating three former ministers in the government of Alan García (2006-2011) in connection with the agreement with a private Israeli security company, Global CST.
The contract, signed secretly in 2009, was for supporting the military in its fight against a remnant of the Maoist guerrilla group Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path), active in the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro river valleys (VRAEM). Continue reading
Latin America Press
Natives confiscated truckloads of illegally extracted timber from their territory.
Tired of the logging of their forests, members of the indigenous community Pukobjê-Gavião, from the Brazilian northeastern state of Maranhão, decided at the end of January to seize four trucks and one tractor with some 20 cubic meters (700 cubic feet) of illegally logged timber from their territory.
The indigenous reserve Governador, in the southwest of Maranhão, is the boundary of the eastern Amazon region with the Cerrado savanna. It is an area with many trees, such as the trumpet tree, supucaia, aroeira, copaiba, and cerejeira tree.
“We got tired of reporting so we decided to take our own measures,” said the cacique Evandro Gavião to the International Press Service. “We would see the trucks in the reserve. What would have happened if we did not do anything?”. Continue reading
Caudalosa workers clean up mining tailings in Peru’s Opamayo River. Credit: Milagros Salazar/IPS
By Joe Hitchon
WASHINGTON, Mar 26 2013 (IPS) – Researchers have unveiled new data warning that governments in Latin America are infringing on the rights of their indigenous populations in a bid to fuel development through the extraction of natural resources.
The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a Washington-based organization, says it has documented a “natural resources giveaway” in Latin America, which highlights how an outdated development model is trampling on human rights and the environment throughout much of the region.
Governments are at a pivot point. Will they pursue massive resource extraction at any cost or create a detailed and regulated development plan? Continue reading