The Brazilian bishops’ Indigenous Missionary Council criticised an attack in a remote area of Maranhao state in which 13 Gamela Indians were injured.
Brazilian authorities were still trying to piece together what really happened on 30th April as farmers and members of the Gamela indigenous tribe clashed in an area about 150 miles from Sao Luis. Among the injured, five were shot and two had their hands severed.
“We repudiate the actions by militias in Maranhao state that attacked in cowardly and criminal manner members of the Gamela tribe, who were just trying to retake what is historically theirs,” Archbishop Roque Paloschi of Porto Velho, president of the missionary council, told Catholic News Service.
Archbishop Paloschi said the attack was a brutal reminder of the lack of protection and of human rights violations directed toward the indigenous communities in Brazil.
“Unfortunately, the government is shunning away from its responsibility, and systematic attacks against the Gamela, as well as other tribes throughout the country, continue to occur,” the archbishop said.
In an open letter to Brazilian bishops at their general meeting in Aparecida, Archbishop Paloschi said the Brazilian indigenous political scenario is chaotic.
Picture: A Brazilian Indian in Brasilia takes part in a demonstration against the violation of indigenous rights on 27th April. The Brazilian bishops’ Indigenous Missionary Council criticised an attack in a remote area of Maranhao state that left 13 Gamela Indians injured on 30th April. (CNS photo/Ueslei Marcelino, Reuters).