Note from BW of Brazil: The situation involving quilombo territories something we should be paying close attention to. In case you’re not familiar with quilombos and quilombos and their importance in Brazilian and black history, what you need to know is that they are locations where escaped slaves sought refuge, often times in the woods. In the regions, they lived according to African culture after having escaped from sugar and coffee plantations as well as mining activities beginning in around the 17th century. Today, these land rights that have been protected by the Brazilian Constitution are under threat and the lives of leaders and inhabitants of these lands are at constant risk.
As this blog reported a few backs, Brazil’s Supreme Court (STF) was to issue a ruling on the fate of these lands in a decision on August 16th, but the decision was postponed due to the absence of Minister Dias Toffoli, who requested a hearing on the case. The minister was absent from the session due to a health problem. A new date for the trial of the case will be scheduled by the president of the Supreme Court, Minister Carmen Lúcia, after Toffoli’s return. In the meantime, quilombo leaders continue to turn up dead. The two reports below are from July and this month and as I’ve said about the insane number of murders of Afro-Brazilians, I will also say that we know something more is going on with the quilombola communities. It really ain’t hard to tell!
Two more quilombo leaders assassinated in Bahia
Courtesy of Causa Operária
At dawn on July 16th, the quilombola leader Lindomar Fernandes Martins was murdered by gunmen who invaded his residence in the Quilombola territory of Iúna, in the municipality of Lençóis, Bahia. According to media reports in the region, Lindomar was shot dead in the head.
The Quilombola Territory of Iúna, in the Chapada Diamantina, was in the process of land regularization carried out by the Instituto de Colonização e Reforma Agrária (Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform). The region is one of the most visited by tourists in the country, so the quilombola territory is of great tourist value and therefore very coveted for this reason.
What is striking about this death is the exponential increase in the deaths of leaders of movements for land rights and the hunt for the rights of these communities in the national congress, such as withdrawal of rights and cuts in the budgets of organs of assistance and support to quilombola communities.
Lindomar is the second quilombola leadership brutally murdered in Bahia. Three days earlier, José Raimundo Mota de Souza Junior was assassinated with ten shots in head in the quilombola territory of Jiboia, in the municipality of Antônio Gonçalves.
The lands of the quilombolas are also in the sights of landowners, as well as the indigenous lands. Landowners, gunslingers and police will use legal and illegal ways to stop demarcation of quilombola territories.
The coup is creating the conditions to withdraw all the rights conquered by the black people. The intention to place black people as slaves again. We must fight against this offensive of the latifúndios (see note one) and the coup plotters to defeat the coup!
Six quilombolas killed in area of dispute in Bahia
Courtesy of Brasil 247
Six people were killed in a quilombola area in Chapada Diamantina, in Bahia last Sunday; So far, the police are working on the hypothesis that the crime is related to drug trafficking
Six quilombolas were shot dead in Lençóis, in Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Sunday (August 6). With this episode, eight quilombolas have been killed in an area of land disputes in the state. The site of the slaughter is the Quilombola Territory of Iúna, whose regularization was recently initiated by Incra (National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform).
The victims were killed at home by men who arrived on the scene in an unidentified black car. The Lençóis Civil Police are working on the hypothesis that the crime is related to drug trafficking – two victims had run-ins with the law for narcotics trafficking.
On Monday (August 7), the Civil Police of Bahia, through the Agrarian Police, created a task force to investigate the crimes. The agrarian delegate Giovanna Bomfim and a representative of the INCRA Regional Agrarian Ombudsman will be in Lençóis on the 14th.
The victims are Adeilton Brito de Souza, Gildásio Bispo das Neves, Amauri Pereira Silva, Valdir Pereira Silva, Marcos Pereira Silva and Cosme Rosário da Conceição. The bodies were buried between last Monday afternoon and last Tuesday morning (8).
Source: Agência Brasil, Causa Operária, Brasil 247
- Large rural property, usually very little cultivated or extensively and archaically exploited.
The land rights of these black communities are so far protected by the Brazilian constitution. And today’s authorities are using legal means to get rid of those protections. I think that the communities living in the quilombos should take their case to the United Nations, no matter the outcomes of their cases.
They should not expect the Brazilian police, or government to do anything meaningful when it comes to these murders. They have been assassinating them for a long time now. And it is not going to stop unless they do something radical.
Not only should they find a way to protect the leaders, but they should go beyond the Brazilian jurisdiction.