A R A R Awww.survival-international.org‘Our land is now an island and we are surrounded. I am very worried thatthe whites will invade more.’ Tojtxi, Arara manArara Indians in BrazilianAmazonia are fighting for theirsurvival against waves of armedare opening up feeder roadsand penetrating deeper intoArara land.existing reservestill to bedemarcatedBRAZILBRAZIL: Arara Indians fightbullets and bulldozersJune 2004loggers, ranchers and colonistswho are destroying their foresthomeland. The situation is sovolatile that the Arara dare nothunt further than 10 kilometresfrom their village. Traditionalhunting trips, where men gooff for days in search of game,are impossible as the Indianswill not risk sleeping in theforest at night. Imprisonedwithin their own land, oneArara described leading ‘a lifeof terror’ as the forest echoes tothe constant roar of chainsawsfelling mahogany and othervaluable hardwoods.Government officials havereportedly surveyed the Araraterritory (called Cachoeira Seca)with the aim of reducing its sizeand handing out tracts of theland to loggers and settlers. Ithas not yet been demarcated(physically mapped out withmarkers) by the government.The Bannach logging companyThe Arara (‘macaw people’)call themselves Ukarangma.They are avid hunters andfishers and grow cassava,sweet potato, corn, bananasand pineapple in communalgardens. When hunters returnfrom a successful hunt, meat isexchanged for fermented drinksand the whole communitycelebrates together for severaldays. For feasts and rituals,the Arara paint themselves instunning, bold designs usinga black dye called genipapo.The Arara once inhabiteda large area, but due todisease and violent conflictwith outsiders they now numberabout 200 people and live intwo reserves along the Iriririver. The sixty Arara ofCachoeira Seca were the lastgroup to be contacted, in 1987.The adjacent Arara indigenousarea has been fully recognisedIriri RiverAmazon RiverXingu RiverThe Arara’s recent history hasbeen one of persecution andviolent contact with jaguar skinhunters, rubber tappers, settlersand, latterly, loggers. For yearsthey eluded contact and foughtto defend their land. FUNAI,the government’s Indian affairsdepartment, tried desperatelyto make contact with the tribethroughout the 1970s beforethe Transamazonia highwaycut through the heart of theirterritory. Contact was finallymade between 1981 and 1987.Tojtxi, an elderly leader,remembers that time, ‘Wesaw traces of the whites andfled into the forest. The whitessaw our footsteps and followedus. We wanted to know whyand we left our plantations,our caxiri (manioc drink),and everything, to flee.’The Arara are now fighting abattle for their survival. Legalrecognition of their large,continuous territory is crucialas the Indians rely entirely onthe land for their livelihood.As Tojtxi told Survival ‘Wewere born in the forest – it’sour home. We only hunt. That’swhat we do. If our land isswallowed up, where will wego to hunt? Our land is now anisland and we are surrounded.I am very worried that thewhites will invade more.’bulldozed a road through theby the Brazilian government inthey kept following us. We wentterritory in the 1980s and nowland grabbers and loggers1991 and is home to the largerArara group.further and further away but thewhites came to our village
A C T I O NIN BRIEFI want to help tribal peoplesA banker’s order of only £3 a month, or any donation youcan give, will make a difference.Supporters receive free information about tribal peoples.S u rv i v a l ’ s action bulletins are issued when a tribe is under threat – and when youcan help. Many times since 1969, Survival has shown how focused public supportcan help to save vulnerable peoples from destruction. By spending a few minuteswriting to the addresses below you really can help the Arara Indians of Brazil.E v e r y letter makes a dif f e re n c e .S u rvival accepts no national government funds and depends on individuals u p p o rters to fund its work. You can, however, receive these bulletins freeof charge by post or email. Just tick the box on the for m .This action bulletin is also available in French, Italian, Portuguese andSpanish – please write for details or extra copies.Please write a brief and polite letter. Use the following letter as a guide or writeyour own:I write to express my deep concern over the future of the Arara Indians of Cachoeira Secain the state of Pará. Their land has been invaded by loggers and colonists whose presenceprevents the Indians from hunting and has made them fear for their lives. Under the Brazilianconstitution the Arara have the right to live on and use all their ancestral land. Governmentdecree no. 26 of 22 January 1993 declared 760,000 hectares as the Cachoeira Seca reserve.However this land has never been demarcated or ratified. I am alarmed to hear that thegovernment proposes to reduce this area and hand over Arara land to outsiders. The Araraare totally opposed to any loss of their land, which is crucial to their survival. The longer thedelay in demarcation, the more the forest is invaded and destroyed. I urge your governmentto expel all land grabbers from the Arara territory, to resettle the colonists, and to demarcateCachoeira Seca urgently in order to prevent further invasions and conflict with the Arara.Please send your letters to:Exmo Sr Luiz Inácio Lula da SilvaPresidente da República Federativa do BrasilGabinete do Presidente, Palácio do PlanaltoPraça dos Três Poderes70150-900 Brasilia DFBrazilemail: email@example.com: +55 61 411 2222 or 2243 or 1222Exmo Sr Márcio Thomaz BastosMinistro da JustiçaMinisterio da JustiçaEsplanada dos MinistériosBloco T70064-900 Brasilia DFBrazilemail: firstname.lastname@example.org: +55 61 224 2448 or 322 6817or 224 0954B O T S WA N A :Bushmen take government to courtThe court case that could decide the future of the Gana and Gwi ‘Bushmen’ will be held inJuly this year. Two hundred and forty-eight Bushmen and Bakgalagadi are taking Botswanato court over the govern m e n t ’s forced eviction of them and their families from theirancestral land.The case will begin on 4 July with an ‘inspection’ of the resettlement centres, and ofthe Bushman communities in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve to which nearly 200Bushmen have returned despite government opposition. The Bushmen want thegovernment to recognise their rights to return to their land and live there without fearof further eviction, and to hunt and gather freely.Meanwhile, three Bushmen have been arrested and charged with ‘unlawful hunting’. Thethree were hunting near the resettlement centre of New Xade. The arrests are the latest ina rising tide of persecution of Gana and Gwi Bushman hunters. The Bushmen were bannedfrom hunting and gathering in the reserve after the evictions, and since then those huntingaround the resettlement centres have faced harassment, arrest and heavy fines orimprisonment.‘I feel angry because I am a hunter and I’m not allowed to hunt. I have children but Idon’t know how to feed them,’ says one man. In the resettlement centres, the Bushmenare dependent on government rations for the destitute.Please send a polite letter or fax to:The Hon F G MogaePresident of the RepublicPrivate Bag 001GaboroneBotswanaFax: + 267 3956 086Begin: ‘Your Excellency’expressing your concern at the persecution of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen in the name of‘development’, and urging him to allow those Bushmen who wish to return to their land todo so without fear of further persecution.S u rvival is a worldwide organisation supporting tribal peoples. It stands for theirright to decide their own future and helps them protect their lives, lands andhuman rights.S u rvival International,6 Chart e rhouse Buildings, London EC1M 7ET, United KingdomT 020 7687 8700F 020 7687 8701i n f o @ s u rv i v a l - i n t e rn a t i o n a l . o r gw w w. s u rv i v a l - i n t e rn a t i o n a l . o r g© Survival. Photo: Arara girl with honey, Brazil © John Miles/Surv i v a lWould you like to receive these free bulletins? 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