Munduruku- Taking the Power Back

Tired of waiting for the Federal Government and Funai (National Indian Foundation) carry out the demarcation and ratification of their lands, the Munduruku people decided to take action and make their own hands the demarcation of their territory, located between the towns of Trairão and Itaituba, the western region of the state of Para.

In October 2014, warriors of the Munduruku people were inside the forest, leading the way in GPS devices and scoring a region that awaits demarcation for at least 13 years. According to Juarez Saw Munduruku, chief of the village Sawre Muybu, the initiative was due to inefficiency and neglect of the federal authorities with respect to the Munduruku territory. The demarcation of the site coincides with the hydroelectric project of São Luiz do Tapajós, one of the 152 hydroelectric plants planned for the Amazon region.

Based on archaeological remains, the Robust Reporting Identification and Demarcation of Indigenous Sawré Muybu made by FUNAI, confirms that the area historically belongs to the Indians. The Munduruku feel betrayed by a series of agreements unfulfilled by the federal government and FUNAI. The trigger for the landmarking was triggered in September, when the Indians met in Brasilia with Funai and Ministry of Mines and Energy and Planning representatives. At the meeting, the then president of Funai, Maria Augusta Assirati pledged to give an answer on the demarcation of the IT Sawré Muybu in late October. Maria Augusta was discharged from office and the report was not published in the Official Gazette.

“We are tired of waiting from the federal government that meets our demands. For years we are trying to dialogue with the government, denouncing a multitude of illegalities that is happening in our land. And as the government took no action so far, even with our demands, we decided to do for ourselves, demarcate our lands. Our rivers no longer have fish, the forests already difficult to find our game. Thus, the already tired of waiting and came in the same resume our lands. We know what is ours. We know our territory and so we did this action of self demarcation “says Juarez.

The area is well-known by multitude of intrusions that happens almost throughout Amazonia. There are land invaders, gold miners, diamond and timber with impunity explore a region rich in archaeological vestiges. Recently, archaeologists found a funeral urn in the village Sawre Muybu.

The Munduruku are about 13,000 indians living in upper and medium Tapajos region already quite degraded by the existence of mining and illegal logging. They still have much of their traditional culture, their native language and their rituals, but they fear fear that with the invasion of the great development works in their territory would cause great impact in their life, changing their cultural traditions.