Thursday, October 1, 2009

October 3, 2009 - More Abuse Against the Guarani Kaiowa Apyka'y in Mato Grosso do Sul - Cacique Marcos in Brazillia

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Cacique Marcos Xukuru has gone to Brasilia to advocate for indigenous peoples rights in Brazil. He will be returning in the next few days. I will be leaving for Pesqueira on October 11th to stay with the Cacique and participate in the various meetings that he attends with local indigenous leaders in the aldeias (village communities) on Xukuru land.

In the mean time, there are some serious human rights abuses occurring to the Guarani Kaiowa Apyka´y in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. I've posted information about the recent attacks against the Guarani Kaiowa in my last blog post. Below, I am providing some additional information about international financial involvements in Brazil, and the lack of the Brazilian government’s foresight in planning projects, particularly those that are linked to the extraction of natural resources that have led to environmental destruction and continued human rights abuses against indigenous people.

Finally, I would like readers to think about ways to solve issues of global environmental destruction that are rooted in international financial relations, particularly with the World Bank, the IMF, Free Trade, and Neoliberal Economics. As the need to extract, process, and produce goods for the world’s populations continues to grow, so does the need for new solutions that will ensure the sustainability of the planet’s ecosystems and the continued existence of cultural human diversity.

Finding Solutions? Questions for Readers

Here is an article posted on the web page "Survival International" ( that provides an example of how social activism can act as a powerful tool and incentive to change status-quo loan procedures at the World Bank. Social activism only works with large social movements kick into action. The question is, how do we get ourselves and others to take action - to become involved and participate in stopping abusive practices (environmental and human) AND contribute to finding solutions? Do we change the way we educate our children? Do we make sure that university classes are engaged and involved in real life issues and that information learned is applied in practice? What do you think? Below are several web pages discussing the economic, social, and cultural (all three are inter-connected) practices that generate destructive, non-sustainable processes that are leading to the potential collapse of global environments.

Wep Pages - Environmental Destruction & Impact on Indigenous Peoples State Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon Political infighting in Brazil threatens the Amazon rainforest

June 01, 2009 Brazil to boost spending on infrastructure to counter economic crisis

February 05, 2009 Brazil OKs $4 billion dam in the Amazon rainforest

November 13, 2008 South American development plan could destroy the Amazon

October 2, 2007 Amazon tribe blocks major Brazilian highway

June 8, 2007 Brazil splits environmental agency to fast-track development projects
Rhett A. Butler,

April 25, 2007 Brazil to flood Amazon rainforest for hydroelectric power
By Reese Ewing Reuters


  1. Just to play the devil's advocate, is it possible to maintain environmental and cultural diversity while sustaining the world's growing population? And if the nation state is in "control" of all their lands within their borders even though indigenous groups live on those lands and technically own them, how can we, as outsiders, negotiate some sort of deal? Would it be something similar to the Ju/'hoansi and working on the wildlife reserves that their government placed on their land? How can we get indigenous people to take part in their government when the government might not want them in it?

  2. Blog Reply to Tasha Spawn – 10-2-09

    Good Point Tasha - In this sense, I would also like to get some definitions of diversity. What does this word mean, not only in social science, but in popular every-day discourse? In other words, are we talking about genuine differences between actual individuals, or are we trying to define who "we" are as cultural beings across locations, or are we seeking to discover how we come to know who we are?

    As far as the nation-state is concerned, there have been many discussions about the actuality of its permanence or legitimacy (in that it is a social construction and a historical process-in-and-of itself). Since the nation-state is a political organization by a body of people who traditionally shared common cultural notions of self and environment, it is a created entity, and as such, can be re-created. I tend to think of the state as political and geo-political constructed identity, and the nation as a cultural and ethnic constructed identity. All of these definitions also refer to legal constructions in international law vs. private law (international law = relates to the conduct of states within the international community and often impacts multinational corporations...AND individuals through International Human Rights Documents, vs. private law = state laws - laws related to sovereign states with defined territorial boundaries ). This is a long way of saying that human rights documents, covenants, treaties, etc. are NEW tools for wrangling with human (state-to-state, nation-to-nation, and nation-state to nation-state) conflicts. Of course, as you know human rights documents struggle with the notion of diversity, with human differences at both the individual level as well as the collective level. Human rights documents struggle to re-define our notions of self and others at the local and international spheres.

    So, how can we understand the actuality of the political, geopolitical, and socio-cultural constructions of nations, states, nation-states, and collective and individual identities (ethnicity, gendered and sexual identities, "race", age, -- you name it)?

    This explanation then, relates to the constructed realities of indigenous peoples and non-indigenous peoples (colonizers, capitalists, socialists, communists, fascists, libertarians, democracies, chiefdoms, or any other form of collective governance) within the "nation-state" that has appropriated them, and within the sovereign territories and governments of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

    Indeed, how do we discuss such deeply accepted and cultural absorbed notions of our own identities as individuals who comprise our various "nation-states" and sovereign territories? My questions involve the very transient, yet concretely felt and experienced realities of every-day life. How do we un-lock "what we think we know" in order to discover "what we don't yet know?"

    If we can discover this process, we can address the last have of your question. How can we get "indigenous people" (which actually translates to all people) to take part in discussing their constructed realities that actually create their and our everyday sense of the concrete world.


WDAZ TV Xukuru Research Synopsis