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President of Brazil prepares new ethnic cleansing of Mestizo people – Leão Alves

The Brazilian federal government seems to be creating a new tradition: the “Christmas ethnic cleansing”. On December of last year, the President Dilma Rousseff waged Desmestization (Desmestiçagem, in Portuguese) at Suiá Missu in the State of Mato Grosso; in this month of December 2013, the Mestizos of the State of Maranhão are threated by eviction from their land.

The Verwoerdism – the ideology of the South African apartheid system – adopted by the Brazilian President, of the Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores – PT, in Portuguese), supports the creation of racial and ethnic segregated territories for Amerindians added, in the release of the federal government, to the official elimination of Mestizo people by their assimilation into negro identity.

The invisibilization of the Mestizo people is, among others, a consequence of the “problem” their existence as a ethnicity causes to Verwoerdism in Brazil. The main argument – and propaganda – to try justify the ethnic cleansing of non-Amerindians claims that the Amerindians were in the land before the arrival of whites. It happens that this argument “does not works” against Mestizo people because this is also native by the reason of to have been generated by the Amerindians themselves, having, therefore, original rights over land.

In certain situations, Mestizos have lived or are descended from Amerindian ethnic groups that inhabited the territory before the Amerindian ethnicity that is claiming the land and/or for which the federal government wants to create one of their bantustans. What is happening in the State of Maranhão, in municipalities such as Carutapera and São João do Caru, is an example of such cases.

The guajás or Auá people (Awá, in the documents of National Indian Foundation – FUNAI) are not an ethnic group originated from the State of Maranhão, as the presidence of the FUNAI recognized and published in the Brazilian Official Gazette on 1992. The Auás, says FUNAI, with academic reference, are probably from the Baixo Tocantins and Alto Moju, in the State of Pará. They had migrated to Maranhão especially after Cabanagem, occurred between 1835 and 1840, ie, after centuries of presence Mestizos.

In the State of Amazonas, likened situation occurs in territories inhabited by Mestizo people in the municipalities of Autazes and Careiro da Várzea, where the federal government intends to expand exclusive territories for Mura Amerindians.

In the State of Maranhão, where about 1,200 families are the target of the expulsion, there is promise of resistance.

But what will do the white-indigenist media? Probably what they usually do: release news referring to Mestizos as “white men”, invaders or intruders.

This manner of expression is not, however, restricted to the ruling media, confessedly of PT or similar. The discourse that prevails in the ruralist media, for example, is not very far from white-indigenist language. In ruralist media, the conflict appears, with rare exceptions, as between whites and Amerindians and restricted to producers and Amerindians – as teachers, masons, porters, people from other professions were not troubled by ethnic cleansing or facing it. No one is kicked out in the creations of the bantustans to be this or that profession, but being this or that race and ethnicity. The conflict and discrimination are racial and ethnic.

So, it has not been observed, except in some specific manifestations, an ideological confrontation by ruralism against racial, ethnic politics of PT; what appears is an opposition moved by immediate material interests.

In Bolivia, the Amerindian president Evo Morales also works by erasing Mestizos, but finds resistance in the media and political circles much greater that observed in Brazil in relation to the white president. What extent is that related to the fact of political, intellectual and economic influence of whites in Brazil is stronger than whites in Bolivia? This deserves to be researched.

Another interesting note is the fact the main NGOs that support these policies – and their media – have their headquarters in the Netherlands, United Kington and U.S., countries with a history of remarkable ethnic and racial segregation and hostility to mestizos (Coloureds, mestiçosmétis, etc)  and miscegenation.

Certain is that the racial politics of the PT’s government and other white-indigenist groups strengthen the segregationist power of race always threated by the democratizing power of mestization.

Leão Alves is general secretary of the Mestizo Nation Movement.

Translated from Portal do Zacarias.

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Posted in Português.


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