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Brazil's Indians Evicted
March 24th, 2013

Brazil's Indians Evicted
Screen shot 2013-03-24 at 11.38.04 AM

Mahalo to Jonathan Watts ( for his coverage on Brazil running out of time to prep for FIFA's World Cup event. Stadiums are far behind schedule. The £300m renovation of the Maracanã was to have been presented to Fifa last month, but after storms and floods installation of seating and roofing has been postponed to 24 May, just nine days before a scheduled game with England. Meanwhile, Brazilian riot police are busy evicting indigenous people near Rio's Maracanã stadium.

Hosts of the 2014 World Cup, Brazil, react harshly. Photo is of a supporter of the indigenous community arrested outside the Brazilian Indian museum in Rio de Janeiro. (Photo by: Sergio Moraes/Reuters). Brazilian riot police are armed with batons, tear gas and pepper spray while they forcibly evict an indigenous community from a dilapidated museum complex next to the Maracanã football stadium. The forced relocation, leading to arrests and accusations of brutality, comes amid growing pressure on the hosts of the next World Cup to accelerate preparations that have fallen far behind schedule. (Does this remind us of any other "world games" held in China who managed clean up of neighboring areas near their newly built Olympic stadium in similar fashion?)

The museum has been the focus of a protracted legal battle between squatters, who claim the site should be used to promote indigenous culture, and the municipal authorities, who want to knock down a graffiti-covered eyesore before the world's attention moves to Rio de Janeiro.

"It was shocking," said Ingrid Paul, an Argentinian who has lived in the community for the past three weeks. "The police were obviously preparing for a fight. They came in with masks at 2:30am. We were all affected by the gas, even a three-year-old child."
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4 Responses to “Brazil's Indians Evicted”

  1. Ken Conklin:

    There are people who like to call themselves "indigenous" in hopes they will get special privileges, and then there are truly indigenous people who are so authentically indigenous that they don't know there is such a word. It's the second type who deserve special protection against the outside world, and a right to preserve their primitive lifestyle. The first type are merely using the label for self-aggrandizement.

    Here's an outstanding, current article about truly indigenous tribes.

    Smithsonian magazine, March 2013

    The Lost Tribes of the Amazon
    Often described as “uncontacted,” isolated groups living deep in the South American forest resist the ways of the modern world—at least for now


    Thank you so much for the reference. We will definitely follow up and read the article(s). Ken, I'm just not sure all of the protestors are doing so because of self-promotion or that none of the protestors are homeless indigenous or native people from the region. But if there is even one who is displaced that's enough for me to question the way in which they are being relocated. Perhaps the question really is to ask how any country, state, city, town deals with growing numbers of displaced citizens in their respective regions of the world. With all our technology why aren't we changing old ways, breaking bad habits, and instead implementing more sustainable solutions that allow us to keep moving forward but not at the cost of the precious natural environment or indigenous cultures on the brink of extinction? That is my concern.

  3. Eljo:

    Say “thanks” you for your mothers and fathers they gave you the world

  4. Annett Bergemann:

    Bravo! I couldn't have said it better myself.