The Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil (IEAB – Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil) is joining other churches in a coordinated effort to fight for the rights of indigenous peoples in Brazil against the colossus of big agribusiness. Brazil’s Indigenous Council reports that the strategic removal of indigenous families from their homes has caused the murders of nearly 400 Guarani-Kaiowá and Terena people and contributed to over 500 suicides in the past 12 years.
“On 14 June this year, near the village of the Guarani-Kaiowá in the municipality of Caarapo, indigenous community health worker Achilles Clodiodi Rodrigues de Souza, 23, was shot dead and another five Guarani were treated for severe gunshot wounds,” the IEAB said in a statement. “Residents in the area reported seeing men in trucks, tractors and motorcycles shooting from all sides.
“After the incident, a large group of indigenous people dispersed and occupied land in order to protect themselves. This generated conflict with the owners of those lands.
“Clodiodi was buried at the site of the attack and his grave has become a symbol of the struggle of the Guarani-Kaiowá and Terena people to regain their land.”
Members of the IEAB have joined Christians from other churches in a public demonstration outside the Mato Grosso do Sul state parliament to express their support of indigenous people and a plea for an end to the violence.
Since the protest, the state’s attorney general met with church leaders and indigenous representatives of the indigenous communities.
The Anglican mission agency, USPG, is supporting the IEAG and is providing funds to train community activists. “We are standing shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in Brazil,” USPG said. “Please join us praying for an injustice in Brazil that viewers of the Olympic Games are not seeing.”
Source material from ACNS
Photo Credit: USPG