The indigenous leader of the Xukuru-Kariri people, Damião Lima da Silva, aka “Dão”, 28 years old, was killed on Wednesday, 08th March of 2017, while he was working in the fields of Bernadete Farm, in Aldeia Coité, Palmeira dos Índios County, Alagoas State.
The body was discovered by his family with signs of shooting and stabbing on Wednesday evening after he had failed to return home.
There is no evidence of previous threats nor of any conflict the victim might have been involved with. On the other hand, it is worth noticing that “Dão” was an important leader of the Xukuru-Kariri people, whose lands were invaded by land grabbers on several occasions. Furthermore, five months earlier, João Natalício dos Santos Xukuru-Kariri, a prominent leader of Brazil’s north eastern indigenous people, was stabbed to death.
According to CIMI – the missionary indigenous board – there are in the Xukuru-Kariri lands, besides the land grabbers, rich farmers with great political influence such as senators like Fernando Collor and Renan Calheiros. These senators are said to have personally asked the Minister of Justice to put on hold the recognition process of the indigenous lands. This intervention resulted in increased insecurity for the indigenous people in the area (https://cimi.org.br/2017/03/39306/).