A Brazilian Indian was brutally attacked, stabbed seven times and left for dead by the side of the road in the central-western state of Mato Grosso do Sul on Tuesday on Tuesday.
Teodoro Ricardi was only in his 20′s and many fear the attack came as a result of his tribe’s attempt to reoccupy part of its ancestral lands which have been taken over by a large cattle ranch.
The attack occurred close to the São Luiz ranch, from where two witnesses say they saw men running into the forest after the incident.
The Guarani of Mato Grosso do Sul, who are desperately trying to recover a fraction of their original territories, face bitter and violent resistance from wealthy ranchers and soya and sugar cane plantation owners. Teodoro’s community, Y’poi, has been besieged since it moved back onto a portion of its land in 2010.
Survival International reports that the Guarani are trapped by the ranchers, who are restricting the Indians’ access to medical care. A Guarani from Y’poi told Survival, ‘We are being persecuted. We are treated like animals, killed and thrown on the streets.’
In the video below, a Gurani woman describes how she saw her father-in-law, Marcos Verón, killed by ranchers in a similar attack.
Since Tuesday, Survival has received reports that the Guarani are demanding Teodoro’s body be buried on the Guarani’s land, near where Y’poi community is currently living. So far the rancher has refused to allow this, but the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) and public prosecutors are supporting the Guarani in their request.
“The Guarani have suffered enough without Teodoro’s murder adding to their grief,” Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today. “His death, like those before him, could have been prevented if the Brazilian government had allowed the Guarani to live on land that is in fact rightfully theirs.”
Image Credit: © João Ripper/Survival