José Colírio Oliveira Guajajara was the leader of the Travessia village, in the Indigenous Land Cana Brava, state of Maranhão. The indigenous defender fought, like many other on his tribe, against the invasion of indigenous lands and the exploitation of resources by outsiders, in particular, loggers.
On September 26, 2016, three days after the death of José Queirós Guajajara, José Colírio was shot dead at close range in front of his family. The defender is one of the six Guajajara who were killed in the period of 90 days by the end of 2016.
The Guajajara, also known as Tenetehara, are one of the most numerous indigenous peoples in Brazil and they inhabit eleven indigenous lands situated in the state of Maranhão. Linked to the defence of the right to land, various members of the tribe have received threats and have been attacked by outsiders, mostly related to logging.
The members of the tribe are highly repressed by those who wish to steal their lands and natural resources, while receiving no special support or protection.
José Colírio Oliveira Guajajara leaves a landmark in the history of his people.