Overlapping lands, repossessions of Indigenous lands and conflicts with beneficiaries of agrarian settlement projects

The Pataxó live in a context marked by several conflicts. First, there is a territorial dispute with farmers responding to efforts by Indigenous people to retake their lands. Secondly, there are conflicts with the beneficiaries of settlement projects established by the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra), in areas traditionally occupied by Indigenous people. Finally, there are tensions with environmental agents of the Chico Mendes Institute for the Preservation of Biodiversity (ICMBio), which result from conservation districts overlapping areas of historic and traditional occupation by the Pataxó.

One prime example is the Discovery National Park which overlaps the Comexatibá Indigenous Land (Cahy/Pequi).  The park was created in 1999 and enlarged in 2012.  About 19% of the conservation district’s area overlaps the Indigenous Land.

In 2013, the Pataxó began to retake lands in the overlapping areas. In 2016, the courts decided in favor of the Chico Mendes Institute for the Preservation of Biodiversity in a reoccupation suit against the Pataxó and the National Indian Foundation. The Federal Public Ministry took the case to the federal appeals court (TRF-1), which suspended the reoccupation. The Circumstantiated Identification and Delimitation Report of the Indigenous Land was published in 2015.

The region has lived in an atmosphere of tension for years due to agrarian disputes involving reoccupations and gunmen threatening Indigenous communities.

The Comexatibá Indgenous Land is close to the seaside town of Cumuruxatiba, an important tourist destination in Bahia.  Luxury hotel projects are located there, such as the Tauana Hotel and the Rio do Peixe Posada, which hired an anthropologist to contest the Circumstantiated Identification and Delimitation Report. The Indigenous community has had to deal with daily threats from farmers and hotel owners, who are supported by the Prado municipal government, and its mayor who has already publicly stated her opposition to the indigenous territory demarcation

Links:

BITTENCOURT, Mário. 2015. Pataxós são donos de área na Bahia onde há pousadas de luxo, diz Funai. In: Folha de S.Paulo. São Paulo, 6 ago. Available at: https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/poder/2015/08/1665359-pataxos-sao-donos-de-area-na-bahia-onde-ha-pousadas-de-luxo-diz-funai.shtml?origin=uol. Accessed: 14 Oct. 2019.

HARARI, Isabel; KLEIN, Tatiane Klein. 2016. O que está acontecendo com os Pataxó no sul da Bahia? In: Instituto Socioambiental – Notícias Socioambientais. São Paulo, 19 fev. Available at: https://www.socioambiental.org/pt-br/noticias-socioambientais/o-que-esta-acontecendo-com-os-pataxo-no-sul-da-bahia. Accessed: 14 Oct. 2019.

Peoples impactedPataxó
Indigenous Lands impactedComexatibá
StateBA
RegionExtremo Sul
MunicipalityPrado
Period of ViolationDe 2013 até hoje.
Type(s) of population Rural
Source(s) of information Site
Other sources Federação Indígena das Nações Pataxó e Tupinambá do Extremo Sul da Bahia (Finpat), Movimento Unido dos Povos e Organizações Indígenas da Bahia (Mupoiba)
Cause(s) of violation Land conflicts
Biodiversity / conservation conflicts
Specific materials Land
Company(s) and government entity(s)Fazendeiros, empresário do setor hoteleiro, Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio), Prefeitura Municipal de Prado
Relevant government actorsNational Indian Foundation, National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform, Federal Public Ministry
Type(s) of financing National
Public
Private
O estado da mobilização diante da violação High (general organising, en masse, violence, prisons, etc)
When did the organising start?Os conflitos se intensificaram a partir de 2013, quando começaram as retomadas de terras, e prosseguiram ao longo do processo de demarcação da Terra Indígena (TI) Comexatibá. Nos primeiros meses do governo Bolsonaro, as ações de reintegração de posse começaram a ser julgadas muito mais rapidamente que durante os governos anteriores.
Group(s) that are organising Scientists / local professionals
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Form(s) of organisingDurante o processo de demarcação da Terra Indígena (TI) Comexatibá, ocorreram audiências públicas com o governo do estado da Bahia, com o acompanhamento da Secretaria de Justiça, Direitos Humanos e Desenvolvimento Social do Governo da Bahia (SJDHDS), assim como reuniões com o Ministério Público Federal (MPF), inclusive com a Sexta Câmara de Coordenação e Revisão (6CCR).
Environmental impactsVisible
Health impactsVisible
Socio-economic impactsVisible
Positive progress in the violation processThe federal appeals court (TRF-1) suspended the repossessions of Indigenous Land until the lower court reaches a final decision. The publication of the Circumstantiated Identification and Delimitation Report of the Indigenous Land provided another tool in the struggle to guarantee the Pataxó’s land rights
Negative progress in the violation processSetbacks include the use of government institutions against Indigenous people, including the police and the Chico Mendes Institute for the Preservation of Biodiversity, and most significantly, actions by the mayor of Prado, who was re-elected in 2016 with fraudulent manoeuvres that prevented Indigenous communities from having access to the polls.
Viable alternatives for a solution to the violationOne of the Indigenous people of Bahia’s principal demands is the guarantee of their territorial rights. The demarcation of the Indigenous lands would greatly diminish existing conflicts. The federal government is directly responsible for the tensions created by the Brazilian state’s repeated violations.
Date form filled out13/11/2019

Rutian do Rosário Santos

Rutian do Rosário Santos

Jovem liderança indígena do povo Pataxó (Bahia), graduanda em Direito pela Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA). Possui graduação em Ciências Econômicas pela UFBA (2014) e especialização em Direitos Humanos e Contemporaneidade pela mesma universidade (2020). É pesquisadora colaboradora do Programa de Educação Tutorial (PET) Comunidades Indígenas UFBA. Atua como colaboradora do projeto Cunhataí Ikhã (Meninas em Luta) da Associação Nacional de Ação Indigenista (Anaí). É diretora financeira do Movimento Unido dos Povos e Organizações Indígenas da Bahia (Mupoiba).