In the following we publish an unofficial translation of an article by "A Nova Democracia" about struggles of the indigenous population against their displacement by the old state.


BA: Indigenous people block BR-367 in protest against demolition of their houses


A barricade is set on fire during protests against the eviction of indigenous inhabitants in southern Bahia. Photo: Village of Novos Guerreiros

On 31 August, about 250 indigenous residents protested and blocked part of the BR-367 highway in Porto Seguro in southern Bahia. The action was in response to the demolition of houses and huts belonging to communities in the indigenous territory of Ponta Grande (TI). The demolition, ordered by the Porto Seguro Municipality, was supported by officers from the Federal Police, the Military Police and the Municipal Guard.

In total, eight beach huts and other businesses were destroyed by tractors. According to Thyara Pataxó, the representative of the local businesses, the indigenous population was not even officially notified: "They started demolishing Porto Seguro and Santa Cruz Cabrália. A measure planned by Mayor Jânio Natal [PODE], who told us via social networks that he would take this measure, but did not inform our leaders. Today [31 August] they did what they said they would do, which was to clear the indigenous people from the roadside," he said in an interview with the G1 press monopoly.


Police officers surround the houses before the demolition ordered by the municipality. Photo: Novos Guerreiros village


In the face of this injustice, the indigenous people blocked the road with trees, stones and other objects, and although threatened by the police, they refused to leave. According to Thyara, among the 250 people who took part in the action, a chief and a young woman from the community were also attacked and three indigenous people were arrested by the police.


Cultural celebrations are held during the blockade of the BR-367 motorway. Photo: Aldeia Novos Guerreiros


A warrior holds a bow and arrow during a demonstration. Photo: Aldeia Novos Guerreiros


In a video circulating on the internet, the President of the Council of Pataxó Chiefs, Chief Shyrathan, clarifies the indigenous peoples' firm stand: "We don't want to be disrespected anymore! We are here with different caciques and we will stay until we have achieved the definition of our territory!

The following day, a new protest also took place on the BR-367 highway at kilometre (km), this time attended by around 300 indigenous people. "The scenario we are living in here is that of war," declared the Kazike Shyrathan.


Another protest took place on 1 September at the same location. Photo: João Payayá


Disregarding its own rules, the old state continues to attack indigenous people

The municipality's actions not only violate the decision of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) that suspended " expropriations " during the pandemic, but also go beyond the order of the Federal Ministry of Public Affairs (MPF), which was only to prosecute the " violations resulting from the advancement of irregular construction works in the Union territories on Mutá beach ".