Indigenous people accuse Terracap of intimidation after action in the Northwest

Indigenous people accuse Terracap of intimidation after action in the Northwest
Indigenous people accuse Terracap of intimidation after action in the Northwest
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A conflict involving indigenous people who occupy locations close to Via W9 and employees of the Federal District Development Agency (Terracap) occurred this Friday afternoon (2/2) at block 308 of Noroeste. Members of the Bororo, Fulni-ô and Xukuru ethnic groups, who live in these areas, met Terracap employees, accompanied by the Brasília Military Police (PMDF), at the moment they were leaving the occupation to sell handicrafts.

According to professor Potyra Terena, who lives in the Bororo village, the agency had gone to the territory to intimidate and try to expel the indigenous people. “We were taken by surprise,” she said. “They want to catch us vulnerable indigenous people, but we’re not there, because we’re always alert.”

Wanted by Mail, Terracap claimed that the operation carried out this Friday had the objective of cleaning the access roads to the block, but it was not possible “due to direct interference from irregular occupants of the location”. According to the district body, the area occupied by the indigenous people is an irregular occupation of a public area, obtained by the DF through an agreement made in 2019 for the construction of W9.

In November 2023, the indigenous people denounced the Government of the Federal District (GDF) for neglect of the site, when a sewage pipe broke and caused flooding within the area. “Residents (of the Northwest) claim that our presence is uncomfortable and that this is not our space. If this is their space that they bought with the money, it is our space by territorial and historical tradition”, he emphasizes.

At the time, the ethnic groups were threatened with being evicted from the site, which is registered as Terracap property, and even met with the National Foundation of Indigenous Peoples (Funai) to look for a solution. When contacted, Funai did not return contact until the last update of this report. The space remains available for demonstrations.

The agreement signed between Terracap, Funai, Federal Public Ministry (MPF), Brasília Environmental Institute (Ibram) and two representatives of the Sanctuary is a reason for conflicts between the parties to this day. The decision included the district government with the lots on both sides of the road, where blocks 500, 700 and part of 300 in Noroeste are located. This treaty, however, according to the indigenous people, was made only with a few families and hidden from the rest of the residents. Therefore, it would be unfair to the other occupants.

Cancellation of the operation

According to the PM, called in to protect the servers during the operation, Terracap’s action was canceled after the police “converted the emotions” of those involved. In a statement, the agency alleges that “one of the indigenous people jumped on the tractor holding a stick with both hands, and one of the agents from the Deputy Director of Public Order (SOP) felt threatened. A member of the DF Indigenous Resistance, Potyra Terena states that she did not see what happened, but argued that “if it happened, it was because of the way they arrived at the location, without authorization”.

The action was closed after the indigenous people showed a document that would prevent Terracap from entering the site. According to the state-owned company, employees were prevented from seeing what the document was about. Potyra also alleged that the employees left after seeing that many indigenous people were filming and that this could harm the government’s image.

The aforementioned document, according to the DF Indigenous Resistance, is a resolution of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), but it did not indicate what resolution it would be. According to the mobilization post, the Federal Public Defender’s Office had already notified Terracap that the entity could not enter the area without a court order. In 2020, the CNDH issued Resolution No. 44, of December 10, which “establishes principles, guidelines and recommendations to guarantee the human rights of isolated and recently contacted indigenous peoples, as well as to safeguard the life and well-being of these people.”

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Indigenous people accuse Terracap intimidation action Northwest

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