A group of invaders from the Apyterewa indigenous land in the south of Pará surrounded an inspection base used by teams from Ibama, Funai and Força Nacional. Videos show a group of men harassing the inspection team and setting fire to a wooden bridge that provides access to indigenous land.
In the early afternoon of Thursday (19) the Federal Judge of Redenção (PA) Francisco Antonio de Moura Junior accepted the MPF (Federal Public Ministry) request and ordered the unblocking around the base and a fine of R $ 20,000 per hour for non-compliance. He asked the Military Police and the Pará Federal Police for assistance.
The judge wrote that “the presence of the haze remains properly demonstrated” and the evidence shows that the base “is exposed to haze or haze hazard”. […] with the immediate possibility of being swept away “.
A barricade of tires and wood has been erected in front of the base, and the invaders threaten to start a fire to prevent the inspectors from continuing their work. The column noted that Brasilia was being asked to urgently reinforce the National Force. The climate is tense and officials fear for their physical safety.
UOL found that the servers are being prevented from entering and leaving the base and will no longer be able to receive food and fuel. This has evolved from “obstructing inspection to private prison,” according to officials who asked not to have their names published.
The team is in the region to suppress deforestation in the indigenous land. In the neighboring indigenous country of Trincheira-Bacajá, the inspectors succeeded in containing the outbreaks of deforestation. However, on Tuesday (17), the team received threats that the base would be attacked and the inspection vehicles burned.
While attempting to cross a bridge, the inspectors were “ambushed” with shots in the air, possibly shotguns, and the invaders set the bridge on fire and sawed off one of the pillars. The team had to return to base.
The siege is taking place in front of the São Francisco base, which is part of the Norte Energia company’s territorial protection plan as part of the terms of the Belo Monte hydropower project and is currently assigned to Ibama.
The illegal occupation gathered around 1,500 people in the region
“You still work for Lula, don’t you? Lula is gone, boy,” says a resident of the Ibama team, as videotaped. An armed police officer approaches and asks people to leave, but is not answered. “We won’t back down, no. I’m a worker,” said one of the demonstrators. Another video shows attackers saying they will build a hut in front of the base.
The indigenous land of Apyterewa in the municipality of São Félix do Xingu (PA) is about 1,000 km from Belém (PA). Estimated to have been recognized as traditional Parakanã territory since 1982, it is now estimated to be illegally occupied by more than 1,500 non-indigenous peoples.
The invaders’ withdrawal was a legal restriction for the Union to obtain the environmental permit to build the Belo Monte hydropower plant.
The facility was inaugurated in 2016 by then President Dilma Rousseff (PT), but the invaders’ withdrawal was never fully achieved. Michel Temer’s government (2016-2018) started, but then abandoned the withdrawal plan.
A group of invaders appeals to Damares and President Bolsonaro
According to indigenous peoples, illegal occupation has increased since January last year as the invaders saw an opportunity in Jair Bolsonaro’s government to review the demarcation of the 770,000 hectare territory.
Igor Franco, lawyer and prosecutor for the São Félix do Xingu (PA) municipality who defends “3,000 rural producer families” occupying the indigenous land, said: “We are in contact with Minister Damares [Mulher, Família e Direitos Humanos] Report events and seek support from the President of the Republic [Jair Bolsonaro] to see what he can help “.
The lawyer said that “sentiments are high and the government needs to look at the human rights side”. He said that “the Ibama people are arriving along with the National Force, which is beating the people, burning houses, burning a house with a dog inside”.
“Farmers are good people who, above all, want peace,” said Franco. However, in the videos sent to the column by the lawyer, there is no physical aggression by the Ibama inspectors against residents or houses burned with animals inside.
Indigenous peoples claim they were not informed of the STF’s land decision
The position of non-indigenous people illegally occupying indigenous land gained strength in the last month of May when STF Minister Gilmar Mendes accepted a request from the São Félix do Xingu City Hall over alleged “arbitration” between indigenous people and invaders. A Mandamus letter has been pending before the court since 2007 and the current boundaries of delineation have already been recognized in several other court decisions.
Now, under Bolsonaro’s government, the families of the invaders and the city, with crucial support from the AGU (Advocacia Geral da União), received a positive decision from Mendes approving the process of being sent to a specific “mediator” – not explained which core, but it would be a reference to a sector of the AGU – which indicates that there is “a disposition of the contending public authorities for a probable arbitration”.
Mendes ordered the union to be convened. The decision postponed the trial that was supposed to take place in the Supreme Court on April 24th.
The indigenous people are not part of the process and only incidentally discovered the decision because the indigenous people are overseeing the movement of the processes in the STF that affect the rights of Indians. In an open letter published in June, the Parakanã denied the STF’s decision, saying that “acts of reconciliation” “reduction of indigenous land serving the interests of non-indigenous peoples who have invaded the area will cut it down and have illegally mined “. Funai wanted to speak about the tension in the indigenous land and replied, “We recommend contacting Ibama, who is in charge of the operation.”
The Presidency Communications Secretariat reported that “this matter is the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, the entity responsible for Funai”.
The Damares Alves (Women, Family and Human Rights) Ministry also stated that “the issue is being dealt with by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, which is the entity responsible for Funai. Please send the request to the communications department at that office.”
Ibama reported that his activity in the indigenous land was linked to the execution of a court decision, but other details were not disclosed.
The vice-presidency, occupied by General Hamilton Mourão, who coordinates the CNAL (National Council for the Legal Amazon), said that “the vice-presidency is overseeing the problem. The plans and measures to be adopted are the responsibility of the relevant ministries.”
The Ministry of Justice and Public Security, which had been raided since the end of the morning, did not manifest itself until this text was completed.