Territorial conflict between the Kapinawá and the Catimbau National Park

The Kapinawá Indigenous Land is located between the municipalities of Buíque, Tupanatinga and Ibimirim, in Pernambuco state. It occupies 12,403 hectares and has an approximate population of six thousand Indigenous people distributed across 28 villages.

The Kapinawá Indigenous Land is currently being expanded.  Most of the territory was not included in the demarcation completed in 1986, and 127 families remained outside the demarcated perimeter. Of these families, 45 live in or near the Catimbau National Park.

The Catimbau National Park was created on 13 December 2002, without any prior consultation with the local communities. The negotiations to create the Catimbau National Park occurred when Archimendes Guedes Valença was mayor of Buíque, with participation of other politicians in the state, as well as the communities of Catimbau and neighboring areas. 

In 2002, technicians from the National Indian Foundation [Funai]reported the existence of various Kapinawá families outside of any village and within the park’s perimeter.  These are the families that were not included in the demarcation process.

Meetings were held at the time of the park’s creation, but none of the village leaders were invited.  However, some villages close to the park learned the date and time of the last meetings and attended them because they rejected the placement of the National Park in their territory.

Some of the meetings were attended by representatives of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources [Ibama], and by José Augusto Laranjeiras Sampaio, of the National Association for Indigenous Action, Sandro Calheiros Lôbo, a lawyer from the Indigenist Missionary Council [Cimi], and the sociologist Heloisa Eneida Cavalcante, of the Luiz Freire Cultural Center.

In 2007, Ibama was reorganized and the Chico Mendes Institute for the Preservation of Biodiversity (ICMBio) assumed responsibility for the National Park.  New meetings were held between representatives of ICMBio and Indigenous people to intimidate the villages and impede the entrance of Indigenous people into the Park.

Ibama had already tried numerous times to remove the Indigenous families from the park, mainly during the administration of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, but only those living outside the demarcation area.  The Kapinawá people call for an expansion of the demarcated area, which includes what are considered to be essential areas outside the Indigenous Land.  These are mainly places where archeological sites and ancestral rock carvings are found, in addition to groups of Indigenous families. Most of this area, approximately 12 thousand hectares, is inside the National Park.

Peoples impactedKapinawá
Indigenous Lands impactedKapinawá
RegionAgreste; Sertão
MunicipalityBuíque; Tupanatinga; Ibimirim
Period of ViolationO Parque Nacional (Parna) do Catimbau se instalou no território indígena em 2002.
Type(s) of population Rural
Source(s) of information Book
Other social media
Other sources Lideranças do povo Kapinawá
Cause(s) of violation Land conflicts
Tourism and recreation
Specific materials Tourism services
Company(s) and government entity(s)Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio)
Relevant government actorsBuíque municipal government, Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis (Ibama) [Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources]
Type(s) of financing Public
Other types of financingAssociação Nacional de Ação Indigenista (Anaí), Centro de Cultura Luiz Freire (CCLF), Conselho Indigenista Missionário (Cimi)
O estado da mobilização diante da violação Medium (street protests, visible organising)
When did the organising start?Em meados de 2001, os indígenas tiveram conhecimento de que estavam acontecendo reuniões para a criação do Parque Nacional (Parna) do Catimbau e começaram a se mobilizar para participar delas.
Group(s) that are organising Local organisations
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Social movements
Form(s) of organisingParticipação de lideranças em reuniões sigilosas feitas apenas com políticos do estado e Pernambuco e moradores da vila do Catimbau. Participação em audiências com a superintendência do Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis (Ibama), em que o órgão garantiu que não retiraria nenhuma família indígena do território, e em que se acordou que o povo Kapinawá não participaria de nenhuma reunião convocada por representantes do Ibama fora da aldeia
Environmental impactsVisible
Health impactsVisible
Socio-economic impactsVisible
Negative progress in the violation processIndigenous families were removed from their lands. The Kapinawá could not use the part of their territory that is within the Catimbau National Park.
Viable alternatives for a solution to the violationRevision of the boundaries of the Kapinawá Indigenous Land, with the inclusion of the area of the Catimbau National Park.
Date form filled out06/11/2019

Daniela Alves de Araújo

Daniela Alves de Araújo

Daniela Alves de Araújo nasceu em 20 de abril de 1996, na cidade de Euzébio (Ceará). Indígena do povo Jenipapo-Kanindé, residente na aldeia Lagoa Encantada, em Aquiraz, é monitora do Museu Indígena Jenipapo-Kanindé. É graduanda do curso de Museologia na Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia (UFRB), onde faz parte do Coletivo de Estudantes Indígenas. Foi bolsista do Projeto Mapeamento das Violações aos Direitos Indígenas no Nordeste do Brasil.