White Wolf Pack reports the Guajajara Indians of Brazil in court Saturday fighting a violent Friday eviction from the historic Indian Museum in Rio de Janeiro, and what the group calls "Maracana Village." The 147 year old museum building, considered on holy territory, is located a few meters from Maracana Stadium. The government wants the property for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, and wants to raze the building for a parking lot, commercial center and expanded stadium exits.
Youtube's humanrights reports an estimated 170,000 persons at risk for displacement, if not already displaced, and with the latest eviction last week when officers brutally removed the indigenous community that called it home for more than six years. Humanrights states that "the Museum of the Indian was Brazil's first museum dedicated to indigenous culture and history. Now abandoned by government support and falling to ruin, it has become a rallying point for indigenous activists and those fighting evictions throughout the country."
From October 23rd on telesurenglish:
Humanrights says, on March 22nd, after months of legal arguments over the museum's future, riot police stormed the building and forcibly evicted dozens of residents, clearing the museum amidst tear gas and baton beatings.
From daengellson, the video below, who also shares from the Washington Post that Indians from across Brazil stay at the museum when they come to Rio to get medical treatment, pursue an education, or sell handcrafts in the streets.
Huffpost reports an evergrowing crowd outside the museum began shouting, "Fascists! Fascists!" And, "Police are the shame of Brazil!" Monica Lima, a 46 year old teacher said that the officials are "using the World Cup and the Olympics as an excuse to sell this city to a few billionaire businessmen."
The news outlet reports other protests, as well, when officials evicted residents of a nearby slum for the same projects, and that a group called the Homeless Workers Movement had organized protests against World Cup preparations in eight of the 12 host cities, briefly stopping work on the stadiums intended for matches in Sao Paulo. This is reportedly the first protest, however, in which the police became violent.
Photostream at this link.
Video below posted 9 months ago.
Aldeia Maracanã from Agencia Olhares on Vimeo.
The group insisted in court on Saturday on returning to the old museum. They are refusing relocation to accomodation offered by the state government in Jacarepaguá, and the lawyer presented the headquarters of the National Agricultural Laboratory (LANAGRO) on the grounds of the Village Maracanã as alternative housing. Upon inspection, however, Federal Judge Wilson Witzel found LANAGRO uninhabitable for the group, and the matter was left unresolved.
Federal Judge Wilson Witzel does not have jurisdiction over the fate of the museum building, but is recommending its preservation to Judge Marcus Abraham who will have the final say.
Judge Witzel concluded, "Unfortunately this is not under my jurisdiction, but surely it will be in the capable hands of the magistrates TRF, who have great moral and intellectual capacity to find the best solution."
The leader of the indigenous, Urutau Guajajara, said the only solution that will be accepted by the group is repossession of the museum to the Village Maracanã. He noted that the meeting with members of FUNAI was something historic, early in the conciliation meeting. At the end of the meeting however, disappointed, he said the Funai does not represent them. "I'm not defending our home, but our heritage. That's my story and that of my ancestors are there. And our heritage is not for sale," said Urutau.
*Photo credits, top and bottom/courtesy of White Wolf Pack/Brazilian Indians fighting in court on Saturday for their right to repossess heritage museum following group eviction.