CORRECTED: Brazil lawmakers say indigenous group 'massacred'

22nd December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Brazilian lawmakers on Wednesday reported that an "ethnocide" is being committed against the Guarani Kaiowa people who occupy a tropical rainforest in the country's central west.

"The gunmen are the source of the Kaiowa ethnocide," said lawmakers who sit on parliamentary committees for human rights and indigenous peoples, and who visited areas of Mato Grosso do Sul state deemed to be most at risk from people determined to take land from the minority group.

"The landowners solve land issues in their own way, with assassinations and massacres of the Indians," the report said.

Committee member Mariton de Holanda said the "indigenous people are being decimated," and called on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to act.

Members of the committee visited the region in November after the Kaiowa's leader was killed by dozens of armed and masked men.

Land disputes in the area go back decades and stem from when the Kaiowa people lost their territory and were resettled after the state decided to promote agricultural expansion.

Rosanna Kaingang, a representative of the Kaiowa, said Brazil's government was spending too much on the 2014 World Cup instead of compensating those who had lost land.

© 2011 AFP

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