Tribal leader killed in attempt to re-occupy land

IssueMarch - May 2003

On 15 January 2003, gunmen shot and beat Marcus Veron, a leader of the Guarani-Kaiowatribe in Brazil, after he attempted to reoccupy ancestral land. Veron, 70, was the third BrazilianIndian to be killed in two weeks.

Marcos Veron, chief of the evicted community of Caarapu village, Brazil. PHOTO: J RIPPER/SURVIVAL

In 2000, Veron toured Europe with tribal advocates' group Survival to publicise the history of his people, who have been forced off their land by ranchers. Now armed soldiers prevent the Guarani-Kaiowa from re-entering their property. As a result, the tribe lives by a highway. According to Survival, their suicide rate is one of the highest in the world.

Survival reports that in Africa, the “Bushmen” of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) will present a case later this year arguing that the Botswana government wrongly deprived the Bushmen of their own land. The government has evicted over 1500 Bushmen in the last six years. The Bushmen now live in “resettlement camps” away from their land. Because of this, they rely on the government for water and are forbidden to hunt for food.