Society

Indigenous groups denounce violence in Mato Grosso do Sul

Confined to a small patch of land, Guarani-Kaiowá indigenous people have to face looming threats of agribusiness and urban civilization — which often culminates in violence

Members of the Guarani-Kaiowá indigenous group, from Mato Grosso do Sul, during a protest in Brasília. Photo: Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress
Members of the Guarani-Kaiowá indigenous group, from Mato Grosso do Sul, during a protest in Brasília. Photo: Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress

For the members of the Guarani-Kaiowá indigenous group, the tekoha is sacred land — a place where they can practice teko, their traditional way of life. But despite being the second-largest indigenous ethnicity in Brazil according to 2010 census data, the Guarani-Kaiowá have very little tekoha to call their own.

Indeed, while the sprawling northern Brazilian indigenous lands of Yanomami and Vale do Javari are the size of European countries, the lands reserved for the Guarani-Kaiowá and Guarani-Ñandeva subgroup are far more restricted, often situated dangerously close to urban expanses and privately held farmland in Brazil’s Center-West soy belt.

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