Aponuyre Guajajara, a 16-years-old teenager of the Arariboia community, was assassinated after receiving several shots on the 26th of March 2016.
The Arariboia community is one of the more than one hundred indigenous communities of the Tentehar/Guajajara people that compose the TI Arariboia.
“For years, around ten thousand Guajajara and Awá indigenous people living in the Araribo Indigenous Land have been suffering from illegal logging and the threats and violence practiced by the region’s loggers.” (Catholic run Indigenous Missionary Council – CIMI, 2016)
Due to the Brazilian government’s omission to guarantee the safety of indigenous people and the preservation of their land, the Guajajara have decided to protect their land and prevent invasions to illegally exploit its natural resources, specially wood.
In 2008, they created a group for the protection of the indigenous land, officially established in 2013 as the “Guardians” group. Aponyure was part of the Guardians group, and as such he fought for the defense of TI Arariboia.
The actions of the Guardians made it difficult to illegally extract the natural resources from the Arariboia Indigenous Land (TI), which disturbed powerful economic groups in the region. Death threats and violence against indigenous people in Maranhão has since then intensified.
Aponuyre Guajajara was one of the four members of the Guajajara people murdered between March and April 2016 for defending the Arariboia IT, near the municipality of Amarante, Maranhão.