Belo Monte :
Chief Raoni's petition

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Valdelice Veron’s testimony (taken from the forthcoming documentary film by Gert-Peter Bruch, November 2015)

Valdelice Veron’s testimony (taken from the forthcoming documentary film by Gert-Peter Bruch, November 2015)

“My name is Valdelice Veron, I am from the Kaiowá ethnic group, in Mato Grosso do Sul. I am here today to relay the cry of our people, the Guarani Kaiowá, and of those who have already fallen in the fight for the land, of those who can no longer speak (…).

I bring the cry of the Kaiowá who are already dead, but also the cry of those who are still alive. We, who try to resist this massacre, this genocide in Mato Grosso do Sul, we are not heard. Our cry for help is not heard. (…)

But we find that it is very hard, because the fight that we are leading against armed latifundiarios and their henchmen is unequal. And we only fight with our songs, our body paints, our way of being, men, women, and children. And wherever we are, we are murdered on the roadsides, murdered by the poison they put in our springs. (…)

On October 16th, 2001, we were evicted and thrown out on the roadsides. My family has been entirely murdered. We have been evicted and thrown out on the roadsides as if we were animals. (…)

So in 2010 we went back to our indigenous land. We were attacked again on the 13th of January 2013 in Takuara indigenous land, by more than 70 armed henchmen. We lost our Chief Marcos Veron, we were tortured. Chief Ládio Veron was tortured and burnt, and women suffer a lot more from any form of violence. (…)

The government itself issued reports saying that they built houses in our indigenous lands, that they planted 1,000 fruit trees, that they bring us food baskets every two weeks, but those are only lies.

We live in a true state of destitution in Mato Grosso do Sul. And today, I have come to thank those who see, who make camera and paper speak, because we can no longer stand this genocide. [Genocide] when they tear us from our indigenous land. [It is a] genocide when they use planes to spray poison on our lands and our villages (…)

We are the ones still able to speak, but we live on borrowed time. Because we have been sentenced to death. (…)

The ethanol produced on our lands is mixed with the Guarani Kaiowá people’s blood. And the sugar that comes out of the factory is also made from the Guarani Kaiowá’s blood, on our land. (…)

I ask the people around the world: write, ask, go into action. Because if you don’t, we, the Guarani Kaiowá, we will only exist in films or pictures. I don’t want to be on pictures, I don’t want to be in my grave. I want to be alive for my grandchildren, because my father and my grandparents aren’t alive anymore. I want my four-year-old daughter, Amari, to see me and listen to my stories of fights, but also of joy.

May the whole world listen to our cry for help. This is what I ask: write to your courts of law, because no one listens to us anymore here in Brazil.”

© Planète Amazone - translated by Mahault Thillaye

Date : 24/07/2015