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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation of the Guarini Kaiowa people in Brazil

22.11.2016 - (2016/2991(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Barbara Lochbihler, Ulrike Lunacek, Molly Scott Cato, Ernest Urtasun, Bart Staes, Josep-Maria Terricabras, Igor Šoltes on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-1260/2016

Eljárás : 2016/2991(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation of the Guarini Kaiowa people in Brazil


The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on the need to defend human rights, including indigenous rights and the territories of the original peoples of Brazil, in particular, to its Resolution of 15 February 1996 on the violations of constitutional rights of indigenous peoples in Brazil (Resolution 1288/95 and 0228/96) ;

- having regard to the message of the EU Special Representative for Human Rights during the EU-Brazil Human Rights Dialogue 2015;

- having regard to the Declaration by the Vice-President/High Representative, Federica Mogherini on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples of 9 August 2016;

- having regard to the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders;

- having regard to the EU action plan on human rights and democracy 2015-2019, as adopted by the Council of 20 July 2015;

- having regard to the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples on her mission to Brazil (A/HRC/33/42/Add.1), and the call to the Brazilian State from the Union Nations High Commission for Human Rights;

- having regard to the Report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli Corpuz on her mission to Brazil from 7 to 17 March 2016;

- having regard to the communiqués by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of 27 June 2016 on the murder of a Guarani-Kaiowá indigenous leader in Brazil (No. 89/16) (www.oas.org/en/iachr/media_center/PReleases/2016/089.asp), and of 28 October 2015 on occasion of the IACHR’s 156th session (http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/media_center/PReleases/2015/120.asp);

- having regard to the United Nations Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, as adopted by the General Assembly of 13 September 2007;

- having regard to its resolution on the Right to Protect (R2P) (P7_TA(2013)0180), following the UN Resolution A/RES/60/1, N°s 138 ff, (www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/PBC%20ARES601.pdf);

- having regard to the Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure,


A.Whereas the current Brazilian Constitution, of 1988, and the country’s legal framework enshrine the indigenous people´s original right to their ancestral territory, without establishing any kind of time limitation for the recognition of such right; whereas it is the duty of the State is to regulate and protect this right;

B. Whereas 98.33% of indigenous lands in Brazil are located in the Amazon region, where indigenous populations contribute to the protection of biodiversity in the region and thus help to prevent climate change; whereas 1.67 % of their lands are spread over the Brazilian territory; whereas 52% of the indigenous population live on these lands,

C. Whereas according to the National Survey on Health and Nutrition of Indigenous Population carried out in 2009, the rate of chronic malnutrition among indigenous children is 26% compared to an average of 5,9% among non-indigenous children; wheras according to recent research carried out by FIAN Brazil and CIMI, chronic malnutrition event amounts to 42% within Guarani and Kaiowá communities[1];

D. Whereas the official indigenous body, FUNAI, could suffer budget cuts of more than 40%, bringing it down in 2017 to the lowest level in the last ten years, following proposals by the current President of Brazil to the National Congress, though demands to FUNAI have increased with many new processes on indigenous territory claims,

E. Whereas the recent report of the National Truth Commission of Brazil from 2014, as regards indigenous peoples throws light on the particularly worrying situation of indigenous peoples in Mato Grosso do Sul;

F. Whereas according to information published by the Ministry of Health of Brazil (DSEI-MS), on the cases of assassinations and suicides of indigenous Guarani and Kaiowá in the Mato Grosso do Sul State, over the past 14 years, at least 400 indigenous people were murdered, 700 committed suicide, mostly young people, and at least 14 indigenous leaders were killed due to the legitimate defence of their territorial rights; whereas the National Secretariat of Human Rights recognised during the audiences of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 2015 the link between these suicide rates and the absence of demarcation of indigenous lands[2];

G. Whereas different types of violence against indigenous leaders and communities have escalated with the presence of organised armed groups acting freely in the indigenous territories, especially in Guarani and Kaiowá areas, as shown by recent cases of community leaders Simião Vilhalva, murdered in August 2015, and Clodiodi de Souza, murdered in June 2016; whereas assassinations of Guarani and Kaiowá leaders have a long and sad history along the last decades;

H. Whereas the criminalisation, by powerful influence groups, of the activities of human rights defenders and human rights organisations defending indigenous peoples, has steadily increased; whereas there are complaints about Parliamentary Committees of Inquiry contributing to this criminalization;

I. Whereas ongoing initiatives striving at the reform, interpretation and application of the Brazilian Federal Constitution jeopardise the indigenous rights recognized by the Brazilian Federal Constitution; whereas, if adopted, these changes would enter into conflict with international human rights obligations, Brazil has committed to;

1.Strongly condemns the violence perpetrated against indigenous peoples and communities in Brazil, and asks for an urgent solution of the humanitarian crisis that the Kaiowá Guarani people are facing in Mato Grosso do Sul;

2. Calls on the Brazilian authorities to conduct a comprehensive and impartial investigation into all cases of assassinations of indigenous people, killed in the course of their legitimate defence of their human and territorial rights, and to guarantee that the intellectual and material authors of these crimes are prosecuted according to due process; urges that armed groups involved in attacks against indigenous communities be similarly brought to justice;

3. Calls on the Brazilian Government to implement a full and definitive demarcation of all indigenous lands in Brazil, creating technical and operational conditions for this purpose, especially of the lands in the West, South, Southeast and Northeast, where most of the indigenous population live, and emphasizes the need to also proceed to such demarcation of Guarani lands in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná; considers that, in addition to the land itself, adequate living conditions for these peoples must be guaranteed, including access to fundamental rights such as food, nutrition, health, education, water and others;

4.Reminds both the EU and the Brazilian authorities of the Right to Protect (R2P) concept enshrined in the UN principles since the 2005 World Summit, and urges them to apply this concept in order to prevent increasing violence and a further degradation of the situation of the Guarani and Kaiowá, especially through permanent measures that ensure their way of life and traditional territories.

5. Asks the Commission, based on the R2P concept, to offer its support in order to elaborate jointly with the Brazilian state a working plan for the full demarcation of all territories claimed by Guarani and Kaiowá, including the roughly 479 new ones;

6. Urges the Brazilian National Congress to respect the exclusive competence of the executive branch with regard to the demarcation of indigenous lands, and to ensure a sufficient budget for the work FUNAI has the duty to carry out;

7. Calls on the Council and the Commission to consider the assessment of the situation of violence against indigenous communities, including the assessment of their territorial rights, as a priority in its Political Dialogue with the Brazilian authorities and to make this assessment a compulsory part of its impact assessment for future trade relations, including current negotiations of a Mercosur-EU Association Agreement; furthermore considers that the available documents and reports from UN human rights mechanisms and conventions as well as of the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights should be taken into account;

8. Urges the Federal Supreme Court to continue protecting the original and constitutional rights of the indigenous peoples, who have historically encountered difficulties in defending their rights; and the National Council of Justice to develop mechanisms and action which better serve the needs of vulnerable populations, threatened by territorial disputes and a humanitarian crisis;

9. Urges the Federal Supreme Court to not to accept any temporary limitation for claims which would deny the right to the territory of indigenous peoples;

10. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the President and the Government of Brazil, the President of the Brazilian National Congress, the President of the Chamber of Deputies, the Minister of State for Justice and Citizenship of Brazil, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General for the Prevention of Genocide, Aty Guasu Guarani and Kaiowá People and the Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB).