Genésio Guajajara, a 30-year old resident of the Formosa village, Indigenous Territory of Araribóia, was murdered in the morning of April 11, 2016. He was beaten and then shot. The crime occurred in the urban area of Amarante do Maranhão.
Approximately 10,000 Indigenous Guajajara and Awa who live in Araribaba suffer from illegal logging and the threats and violence carried out by by the region’s loggers, who try at all costs to take the territory occupied by the Guajajara People.
As an action of self-protection, a way to promote safety for the natives, and also to preserve the limits of the territory already demarcated, the Guajajaras in 2008, created a group to protect the territory. The group was made official as the “Group of Guardians” in 2013. Since the creation of the group, violence against indigenous people has intensified and four deaths of members of the Guajajara People have been recorded, including Genésio.
According to the Indian Missionary Council, due to little or non existent local monitoring, the crimes are not investigated. Also, the state fails to respond to the demands for demarcation of the remaining territory, causing an escalation of the conflict in the region.
It is necessary that urgent actions to investigate those crimes be taken by the Secretary of State Security, and finally, those responsible for these systematic killings must be brought to justice. The rigorous enforcement of the law is the only way to stop attacks on human rights defenders.
According to data gathered by the Brazilian Committee of Human Rights Defenders, at least 24 human rights defenders were murdered in Brazil in the first quarter of 2016.