Sign: Governor Jacques Wagner join with our President Dilma and the mayor of Simões Filho, we are asking for urgent help because we are being evicted by the Brazilian Navy. We are more than 40 families and 160 children and elderly of over 100 years old.
Note from BW of Brazil: In an invasion reminiscent of the expulsion of black communities in northern Colombia for gold exploration, the Brazilian Navy has surrounded and is attempting to forcibly evict descendants of slaves in northeastern Brazil. In the United States, they were called maroon societies, in Brazil, they are known as quilombos, societies established by runaway African slaves escaping the brutality of the institution of slavery. As is common in other areas of the African Diaspora, the rights of poor black people are being trampled upon and the international media is ignoring the situation. We call upon Brazil’s first female president, Dilma Rouseff, to do the right thing and stop this illegal land grab!
This is how the story is being reported at Afropress:
Brazilian navy surrounds quilombo in Bahia
Salvador, Bahia – The fifty families who inhabit the Quilombo Rio dos Macacos, which is close to the Aratu Naval Base, remain surrounded by police and military troops of the BrazilianNavy. The families have occupied the area for over 100 years, according toresidents.
The siege began on Sunday, March 4th, the date given by the courts for repossession.The Navy, however, ignored the result of the public hearing held at the end of last month, attended by representatives of the Federal Government, in which it was agreed that reinstatement would be suspended for five months.
The term, according to what was agreed upon at the hearing, would be to finalize the Technical Report for Identification and Delineation by the Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA), which will define how long the quilombos would occupy the area. Activists sympathetic to quilombo community tried this weekend to take food, but they were prevented from entering the quilombo by the Police.
According to the chairman of the Counsel of Black Community Development (CDCN), Vilma Reis, Navy trucks, tractors and vehicles of the Military Police surrounded the Community for the entire day. The Navy wants the area occupied by the quilombo to expanda condominium for its officers. “The Navy of Brazil can’t take the territory of the Rio dos Macacos, because as a Brazilian institution is not above the other national institutions,” said Vilma Reis. Besides CDCN, other organizations have been following the issue.
In January of this year, community members took advantage of the presence of President Rousseff in Bahia to denounce the pressure of the Navy so that they leave the area, which lies within the Vila Militar, on the border between Salvador and the municipality of Simões Filho. On this occasion, a group of 50 inhabitants of the quilombo held a rally in the area of maritime pier of São Thomé de Paripe, with banners demanding of the president a “solution” to the land conflict that they say has occurred since the 1970s, when the Aratu Naval Base was created.
According to residents of the area, families have lived there since the time of the abolition of slavery, or more than 100 years. Brazil was the last country to abolish slavery in the Western Hemisphere (1888).
Inhabitant of Quilombo Rio dos Macacos
This is a post taken from the site PPABerlin – Imprensa Multimidia
These are people who are living in these lands for more than one hundred years, enduring many hardships imposed by the Brazilian Navy. The Constitution guarantees in Article 68 of the transitional provisions, the demarcation, titling and ownership of the lands occupied by remaining quilombo inhabitants, allowing the continuity of these communities, which should be considered as the greatest proof of the symbol of struggle against slavery in the past and racism in the present. The Navy of Brazil has once again shown that it is an institution against blacks, as we have seen in the past. The eviction of the Quilombo dos Macacos, in Bahia, disregards international treaties signed by Brazil, at the 3rd World Conference against Racism held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001, Convention 169 of the OIT (Organização Internacional do Trabalho/International Labor Organization). We, quilombo inhabitants, Black, militants against racism of all races organized by the National Front in Defense of Quilombo Territories – we stand against this arbitrariness, and call the society at large, to all organizations of the Movimento Social and Movimento Negro to protest against this blatant disrespect for the quilombos and the Brazilian people. Remember that President Dilma can not allow this action to occur under her eyes, in a location near the place where she, and other Presidents chose to spend their vacations. We will not allow this eviction to occur. We are all quilombo inhabitants, we are all Quilombo do Rio dos Macacos!
Statement from Dona Maria, one of the inhabitants of the Quilombo do Rio dos Macacos
It was very good. It was very good here. A lot of joy…A lot of joy for us here. Everyone was born here. My son was born, everyone was raised here. I was born and raised here. And why are they persecuting me? To take away from me a land where I was born and raised? To go under the bridge? And then he says we’re all invaders. We are not invading, no, young man. When they arrived, they found us. We were picking coffee. We planted the garden. We lived in the plantations on the countryside. We raised pigs, raised a lot of chicken. And we survived this.