VICTORY: Huge Brazilian Indian Reserve Established in Disputed Amazon Rainforest
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil has ratified the Raposa Serra do Sol Indian Reserve, with a belated stroke of the pen granting protection to some 6,370 square-miles (16,498 square-kilometers) of Amazonian rainforest in Brazil's northern state of Roraima. After more than thirty years of struggle, the traditional land of 15,000 Macuxi, Patamona, Ingarico, Wapichana and Taurepang people has finally been officially and fully recognized as theirs.
Efforts to establish the Raposa Serra do Sol Indian Reserve have been one of the main struggles of the indigenous movement of Brazil for years. Violence and murder have marred this important justice and sustainability campaign, as ranchers and other economic interests have resisted the policy of recognizing and demarcating indigenous lands.
For over a decade Forests.org has been following and supporting this struggle, networking information on behalf of the campaign and helping to generate protest emails and letters. Grassroots efforts in Brazil coordinated by the Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR) led the way, but international solidarity by the Rainforest Foundation – US, and to a lesser extent Forests.org and others, has certainly played its part.
Local indigenous communities are rejoicing at their victory. However, the situation remains tense as local politicians and rice growers continue to resist establishment of the reserve, with the local governor declaring a seven-day period of mourning! The threat of violence is very real.
Forests.org, working with Rainforest Foundation – US, will continue to monitor the situation in Roraima, letting the massive Forests.org worldwide network know of any new developments. But for now you are encouraged to celebrate this wonderful victory. Yet again global Internet based information and action networks have played a role in a major local human rights and environmental sustainability campaign victory.
The rainforest conservation movement of which YOU are a part is on a roll!
More information from Rainforest Foundation – US:
Title: Raposa Serra do Sol, Brazil: President Lula da Silva Finally Puts Pen to Paper!
Source: Rainforest Foundation US – press release
Date: April 20, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 20, 2005
Isabela Figueroa, Rainforest Foundation US
Tel: (212) 431 9098
On April 15th, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva finally announced the much anticipated demarcation of Raposa Serra do Sol (RSS) in Roraima state in northern Brazil. His ratification of “Portaria 534” ends a struggle of over thirty years to officially recognize the 4,317,984 acres of traditional land of the 15,000 Macuxi, Ingarik