Brazil: Tribesmen Leave Iron Mine Belonging To CvrdPublished by MAC on 2006-10-22
Source: O Estado de S.Paulo
Tribesmen leave iron mine belonging to CVRD
O Estado de S.Paulo
20th Ocober 2006
Yesterday an agreement between the National Indigenous Foundation (Funai) and leaders of the Xicrim villages ended a two-day blockade of the Carajás iron mine operated by Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) in Parauapebas in southeastern Pará. The indigenous protesters split into groups as they left the site, but promise to continue their struggle to receive over R$ 9 million that CVRD pays them annually for mining ore in the region and for passing through an indigenous reserve with the Carajás railway.
CVRD denied agreeing to a deal unless the tribesmen left the company property. The Funai administrator in Marabá, Raulien Oliveira, who convinced the indigenous group to leave, criticized CVRD. “They’re toying with the native peoples. They fulfilled their part by freeing up the area and so far the company has not set a date to meet with them”, observed Oliveira. Now that the tribe members have left, he added, it’s up to CVRD to bring representatives to a meeting with them and Funai in Brasília.
The Xicrim occupied CVRD facilities on Tuesday afternoon, forbidding employees to leave. In addition to an increase in the amount paid, they also demanded the building of forty homes in the Cateté community and twenty home in the Djudjeko community, as well as repaving and maintenance of access roads to the two villages. The Court in Redenção gave CVRD an injunction to evict the trespassers that same evening, but the tribesmen decided to continue the blockade. Negotiations were tough. The order of the chiefs was to only leave the area after meeting with CVRD, but the director of the CVRD North System, José Carlos Soares, resisted: “There can be no negotiation while being blackmailed. The blockade left 12,000 employees stuck and the two chiefs that led the protest were adamant: “Nobody gets out of here, we’re prepared to stay another three weeks”.
Funai supports the Xicrim in their struggle for an increase in the amount paid by the company and for other improvements in their living conditions. In Funai director Almir Queiroz’ opinion, CVRD is not doing any favors to the indigenous peoples: “They should provide more compensation for all the ore they’re mining. One mustn’t forget that all this mining causes harm to the communities that live around here”.