Belo Monte :
Chief Raoni's petition

Now 502905 signatures.


Kayapo Take Struggle to Brasilia

Kayapo Take Struggle to Brasilia

Source : Amazon Watch (
For over a month Chief Raoni and the Kayapo have suffered threats and intimidation at the hands of cattle ranchers, illegal settlers and hired gunman who are determined to push them off their lands. Since then, we have worked to shine a spotlight on this dangerous situation, in an attempt to dispel the potential for violence and to pressure the Brazilian government to recognize the Kayapo's land rights. 

In support of the Kayapo, we created a petition to FUNAI's President, Marcio Meira which has gathered over 22,000 signatures, and created the Xingu Urgent Action Fund to support the Kayapo's calls for land demarcation and their ongoing resistance to the Belo Monte Dam. To date, we've sent nearly $10,000 to this cause and Chief Raoni, along with other Kayapo leaders, has sent messages of thanks to all.

This week, as the specter of violence continues around the steadfast Kayapo occupation of the contested Kapot Nhinore territory in the Brazilian Amazon, there are glimmers of hope that this conflict will soon be resolved, granting the Kayapo full recognition to their ancestral lands. Today, a delegation of 20 Kayapo leaders are meeting with the head of Brazil's indigenous foundation FUNAI to press for demarcation and the removal of the ranchers and hired guns who continue to intimidate the contingent of Kayapo warriors based there.

Moving swiftly to push back against local government collusion with lawless land invaders, a small group of young Kayapo leaders stormed the local FUNAI offices in the town of Colider last week, driving out employees and issuing a manifesto demanding the immediate resignation of the local FUNAI director Sebastião Martins. FUNAI headquarters in Brasilia immediately responded, firing Mr. Martins and installing Kayapo leadership in his place, signaling a new direction for stewardship of indigenous affairs in the region.

While these are notable steps forward for the Kayapo in their struggle for long-overdue FUNAI recognition for their demands, the danger remains that the Brazilian government will continue to flaunt rulings that enshrine indigenous dominion over these territories. Government inaction could also imperil the courageous occupation of Kapot Nhinore, increasing the possibility for bloodshed.

The 20-strong Kayapo delegation to Brasilia today is meeting with FUNAI President Marcio Meira, the recipient of tens of thousands of emails since the world last month responded to calls to pressure him to stand by his promises to demarcate Kapot Nhinore. This pressure appears to have made a difference, but only the strength, organization, and determination of the Kayapo coupled with the attention and support of a broad Brazilian and international public will truly turn the tide.

Today we are in Brasilia to accompany and support the Kayapo in their meetings with government officials. We will share the results of these meetings when we know more.

Many thanks for your continued support. In case you haven't already, please make a donation today to the Xingu Urgent Action Fund to support the Kayapo and the Xingu.

© Amazon Watch

Date : 22/03/2012