Xikrin Indians Use Force to Take Back Their Land from Land Grabbers

Dozens of indigenous went on an expedition to recuperate land in the south of Pará

Fabiano Maisonnave Lalo de Almeida
Terra Indígena Trincheira Bacajá (PA)

The Xikrins were tired of waiting on the government to save their land. Armed with rifles and knives, dozens of Xikrins took back their land from land grabbers who had been clearing indigenous land in São Felix do Xingu in Pará. 

Folha accompanied the fighters when they returned from their expedition on Saturday (25). The Xikrins arrived in the village after a 40-km hike, three-day hike. 

"The guy said: 'The land is free to take, Bolsonaro freed it, and that's why we came. We want to work, and help the indigenous people," said leader Bekara Xikrin, 42. "I said. 'No we don't want that, older warriors don't want that, you can't deforest it." 

The Xikrins reported several outbreaks of fires and some areas had already been prepared for farming. They said the people were not violent and that the invaders agreed to leave the Indigenous Territory.

Some invaders, however, threatened to strike back. On Sunday night (25th), one sent a threat through audio with a photo of dozens of men, who would be driving through the next indigenous village. 

"There are more than 300 men in the woods hunting the Indians," said the intruder, in an audio message from WhatsApp.

The invaded region is in a remote area of São Félix do Xingu, with the presence of the state. The village access road has an unarmed employee base of a private company that services Funai (National Indian Foundation). There is only a small contingent in the afternoon in the village of Gelado, about a two-hour drive.

Xikrin Indian. ( Foto: Lalo de Almeida/Folhapress)

The first invasions into the Indigenous Land area began in the middle of last year. After enticing an indigenous leader, the loggers opened up an unpaved road to extract wood. Then came the land grabbers, who cut the land up into lots to resell. 

Triggered by the Xikrins, FUNAI reported the complaints to the Federal Prosecutor and a Federal Police, who opened an investigation, but no action was taken to prevent the invaders, which continued to increase.

Sought, the PF has not responded to the actions against the invaders.

This year, the Bacajá Trench has become one of the main new deforestation fronts in the Amazon, according to Ibama.

According to the NGO Imazon, it has lost 15 km of land. 

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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