Guajajara indigenous man found dead in Maranhão; leaders ask for justice

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An indigenous man was found dead on Saturday morning (28), in the city of Amarante do Maranhão, which is about 637 kilometers from the capital of Maranhão, São Luís.

It was the body of Valdemar Marciano Guajajara, according to the Secretariat of Public Security (SSP-MA).

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The folder reported that he was admitted to the Legal Medical Institute (IML) and is awaiting cadaveric examination to identify the cause of death.

The Maranhão regional of the Indigenous Missionary Council (Cimi) said that the indigenous man from the Nova Viana village was found with marks “which indicate that he was brutally murdered”.

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“Another murdered Guajajara”, lament indigenous leaders in videos released by Cimi. They ask for justice and complain about the violence in and around the Arariboia Indigenous Land.

On Twitter, the Minister of Indigenous Peoples, Sonia Guajajara, said that she will “convene a public hearing in the municipality to demand an investigation and clarification of the motivation for these crimes, in addition to the due punishment of the culprits”.

“These crimes must be investigated and the perpetrators must be held accountable to break the cycle of violence against us indigenous people,” he wrote.

Arariboia is home to two more peoples in addition to the Guajajaras, one of which is isolated (the Awa Guajá and the isolated Awá), and more than 5,300 indigenous people, according to the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA). The territory has 413 thousand hectares.

Violence escalates since September

Cimi said it regretted “deeply regret that yet another indigenous life is being cruelly taken” and demands a response from the authorities regarding the escalation of violence against the Guajajara indigenous people, “which has only grown in the territory since September 2022.”

Cimi pointed out that Valdemar’s death is the second in the last week alone. According to them, another case occurred last Wednesday, the 25th, near the TI Cana Brava (MA).

“José Inácio Guajajara was found dead, with marks of violence on his body, on the banks of BR-226. However, according to the Legal Medicine Institute (IML) of Imperatriz (MA), the indigenous man died of natural causes. We continue to demand the proper investigations and explanations about the death of José Inácio Guajajara.”

On January 9, they said, two Guajajara youths were “shot” as they walked along a road that crosses the Arariboia TI.

“Both were shot in the head and had to undergo emergency surgical procedures.”

Source: CNN Brasil

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