Brazil is by far the most dangerous country in the world for indigenous human rights defenders. During the Special Rapporteur’s country visit to Brazil in 2016, community members in Mato Grosso do Sul showed her bullet wounds on their bodies and the graves of murdered family members. They also recounted incidents of arbitrary arrests, torture, and criminalization of their leaders. Both government and civil society organizations working with Indigenous Peoples provided her with disturbing accounts of a regular pattern of threats and intimidation by state and private actors. Impunity is pervasive in relation to attacks, killings, and intimidation of Indigenous Peoples. Such violence frequently arises in contexts where Indigenous Peoples attempt to assert their rights over their lands and goes hand in hand with the criminalization of indigenous leaders.
TESTIMONY FROM THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR’S
CRIMINALIZATION SUMMIT IN GENEVA IN MARCH 2018
Aty Guaso Kaiowa E Guarani
Inaye Gomes Lopes
7:39: “The rates of criminalization are high. There are a lot of people dying in Brasil. Well, not dying, they are being killed. These are two very different things: dying and being killed. And, this is happening quite often in Mato Grosso, in the south, near the border with Paraguay. It’s happening in many places, you’ve heard of what’s happened in Rio de Janeiro. So, nowadays, shooting and killing leaders is something that has become very common.”