From: The Rainforest Foundation


Here are updates on the Indigenous March 2000, taking place now in Brazil.
They come from the PT homepage (, and are being updated
daily. The events described below took place yesterday; marchers move on
towards Brasilia today.

Notes: the Minister of Justice was sacked and replaced by Jose Gregori,
former Secretary for Human Rights. Discussion of the Indigenous Statute
takes place on Tuesday. Things are heating up in Bahia with the marchers
arriving next week. Stay tuned!

- Christine


April 13, 2000
Indigenous March: According to Rolim public hearing was merely diplomatic
Brasilia 07:15 PM The President of the Human Rights commission Marcos
Rolim (PT - RS), didn’t leave the public hearing with the indians and
President Fernando Henrique Cardoso which finished a little while ago
optimistically. TO Rolim, the meeting was merely diplomatic, with the
indians presenting their demands and the President offering appologies for
the Government not solving the relational problems with the indigenous people.

Marcos Rolim told the President that the government is underestimating the
possibility of conflicts in the south of Bahia among indians and security
forces. At the location the government will celebrate the official 500
years of Brazil. The indians will promote a great encounter uniting
indigenous people from all parts of the country. The President told Rolim
that he understood their concern and promised to guarantee the appointment
of a meeting to define measures taht will assure the indians
demonstrations, without conflict.

Indians are meeting with President Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Brasília 05:05 PM The commission made up of 13 leaders, representatives of
various indigenous people, has just entered Palacio do Planalto, where they
will be greeted by President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. They will be
accompanied by Congressman Marcos Rolim, President of the Human Rights
commission in the House of Representatives. The indians will give the
President a formal letter with their demands, especially those regarding
the demarcation of their lands. The document will be handed to the
President by Orlando Baré.
(Text: Vânia Rodrigues Translation: Clarissa Vaz)

Indians concentrate before Palacio do Planalto
Brasília 04:32 PM Nearly 1200 indigenous leaders are positioned at this
moment in front of Palácio do Planalto. Representatives from the Makuxi
indians from Roraima are displaying a typical ritual with a greeting/salute
anthem and dances. The act is attracting tourists that, instead of
observing the Three Powers Square are integrating the March and
participating in the demonstration.
(Text: Vânia Rodrigues Translation: Clarissa Vaz)

Indigenous March: Act in the House of Representatives has just ended
Brasilia 02:25 PM A few minutes ago the indigenous act in the Nereu Ramos
auditorium in the House of Representatives came to an end. The leaders are
at this moment on their way to the City Park, where they will have lunch.
At three o’ clock they will be back in the Three Powers Square, where the
Legislative, Executive and Judicial Powers are located, for new
demonstrations. At five o’ clock the group leaders will be greeted by
President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. They will give him a list of demands,
especially those related to the demarcation of the indigenous lands.
In the end of the act in the House of Representatives Naílton Pataxó
hã-hã-hãe stated that the white men should stop saying what is best for the
indians. "The authorities need to respect what we think is good for our
people". Nailton also demanded provisions to guarantee the land demarcation
of the indigenous people.
A total of 600 indians participated in the demonstrations. By the end of
the day various buses from Tocantins, Ama´pá, Pará and Amazonas should
arrive packed with indians. The expectation is to gather around 1300
indians in Brasília.
(Text: Vania Rodrigues Translation: Clarissa Vaz)

Carlos Mares: "Repression shall have my rebellion"
Brasília 12:55 AM FUNAI President Carlos Frederico Marés, who is
participating in the act in support of the Indigenous March in the House of
Representatives, affirmed that he does not know for how long "they" will
allow him to remain in his position. Marés referred to the Federal
authorities. "Any repression that may come to take place in the south of
Bahia shall have my rebellion" states Marés. Marés confirmed that he thinks
as the indigenous people and because of that FUNAI is not partying and has
no reason to commemorate the 500 years, in which the loss of language,
culture and the indigenous people can be accounted.

The press ran a story this Thursday with statements in which Carlos Marés
blames the Minister of Sports and Tourism, Rafael Greca, for the conflicts
between the military police and the indigenous people. The commission in
charge of the party to celebrate the 500 years in Porto Seguro (BA) is
coordinated by Greca, which according to Marés "disrespected the
Constitution and created a feeling of tension and terrorism with the use of
police force, intimidation and violence.". Last week the military police
invaded the Pataxó reserve in the south of Bahia and destroyed the monument
that was being raised by the indians.
(Text: Vânia Rodrigues Translation: Clarissa Vaz)

Indians support Decree vote set for next Tuesday
Brasília 12:20 AM PT party leader, Congressman Aloixio Mercadante (SP),
submitted minutes ago to the members of the Indigenous March, that are
participating in a support act in the Nereu Ramos auditorium, the proposal
so that the project which creates the Indigenous Societies Decree may be
voted only next Tuesday, and not in the session that is happening at the
moment in the House of Representatives. By unanimity, the indigenous
leaders accepted Mercadantes suggestion of only voting the decree after the
alteration proposals that the government intends on including are known to
all House members. There is information stating that the government basis
has presented 77 emends to the original proposal.
(Text: Vânia Rodrigues and Flávio Faria Translation: Clarissa Vaz)



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