The largest quilombola community in the country is in Tocantins and has no health care or telephone network

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“We are the largest quilombola community in Brazil, with 370 families and approximately 3 thousand people. We have a territory of more than 57 thousand hectares. We have been in the region since 1723 and until today we have not had our rights respected”, says the president of the Association of the Remaining Community of Quilombo Kalunga do Mimoso do Tocantins (AKMT), Edi Soares e Sousa, upon receiving the team from the Public Ministry of Tocantins (MPTO ) responsible for carrying out a diagnosis that aims to understand the needs of quilombola communities in the State.

The Kalunga do Mimoso Quilombola Community was chosen to host the pilot project, called Luzeiro, due to its territorial extension and significant number of people. The initiative was presented by the Center for Studies and Functional Improvement – ​​Escola Superior do Ministério Público (Cesaf/ESMP), in the municipality of Arraias, on the 16th, to members of the MPTO, public managers, researchers and the Judiciary.

Afterwards, the Cesaf/ESMP team traveled 120 km on a dirt road, passing through floods, quarries and rivers, until reaching the association’s headquarters, and being welcomed by the president, Edi Soares e Sousa.

There were three days of immersion, traveling along the precarious roads, with the aim of presenting the Luzeiro project to the population.

Meetings

The desire to collaborate with the project mobilized community residents, who traveled on foot, on horseback or by hitchhiking in the few cars that exist there, to participate in the presentation meetings held by the Cesaf-ESMP pedagogical coordinator, Cleivane Peres dos Reis, and the organization’s extension coordinator, Seila Pugas.

Farmer Maria Euzir dos Santos Rosa, born and raised in the Kalunga do Mimoso community, as she introduced herself, declared what was already possible to predict: “that the population lives without access to their rights”.

“Our roads are bad. We don’t have health care. To go to the doctor or dentist we need to travel 120 km to Arraias. Only this year we were able to have a good school for students here, but on the other hand they closed another one, so students have to travel several kilometers to study. We have no public transport or telephone network. And we need machinery to work, as we are old and without strength. And our young people don’t want to stay here, they are leaving in search of a better life”, said Mrs. Maria Euzenir.

Luzeiro Project

The Luzeiro project is an articulated action by the MPTO aimed at social participation, integral development and guaranteeing the fundamental rights of Quilombola Communities. Its objective is to solve specific problems, through public authorities. In addition to ensuring respect for territoriality, autonomy and sociocultural specificities.

Project steps

The project will be developed in stages. The next will be the elaboration of the participatory diagnosis, with team training, collection and analysis of official data, visits to families and interviews.

(Shara Alves de Oliveira/ Ascom MPTO)

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: largest quilombola community country Tocantins health care telephone network

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