Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Dark Side Of Brazil's World Cup- The Ghosts of FIFA

Issues Ignored by the Mainstream Media.
Brazil is hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup with impeccable style and a great win for its national side on the very first day.  But scratch the surface and you'll find a darker side, because what's missing from the popular image of Brazil is the shocking treatment of its first people. 

Its football stadiums are built on Indian land, and its new-found wealth comes from the dispossession of the Indians and the theft of their lands.  Now Brazil is planning a new assault on its first peoples: targeting the lands they have managed to keep.

*Survival International campaign to prevent the annihilation of tribal people*

The charity has been working with tribes in Brazil and have compiled this shocking dossier on the truth about the lands World Cup stadiums have been built on, with some powerful photographs. The truth is unbelievable.

First some stats you won't get in the sports pages:

When the first Europeans arrived in Brazil in 1500 it was home to over 10 million Indians. By the 1950s their population had plummeted to an all time low of about 100,000. Almost 1,500 tribes are believed to have become extinct since 1500.

That's nearly three tribes lost each year.

Some tribes are in such a perilous state that they number fewer than the 11 people in a football team:

5: Akuntsu tribe (Rondônia state)

4: Juma tribe (Amazonas state)

3: Piripkura tribe (Rondônia state)

2: Indians of the Tapirapé River (Maranhão state). (One may now be dead)

1: ‘The Last of his Tribe’/ ‘The Man in the Hole’ (Rondônia state)

Manaus Stadium:

Waimiri Atroari man shows children how to make an arrow

England start their World Cup bid against Italy in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state. It is the only Amazon city to host the World Cup. The stadium is built in the style of an indigenous basket.

Extinct tribe: Manaus is named after the extinct Manáos tribe. They fought Portuguese domination in the area, led by their great leader Ajuricaba who united several tribes in resistance but was eventually defeated.

Manaus grew massively in the late nineteenth century on the riches of the rubber boom. Tens of thousands of indigenous people were enslaved and forced to tap rubber. Appalling atrocities were committed against the Indians – thousands died from torture, disease and malnutrition. Some Indians avoided enslavement by retreating to the remote upper headwaters of Amazon tributaries where today they avoid all contact with national society.

One hundred kilometers from Manaus is the land of the Waimiri Atroari Indians. From the eighteenth century this tribe valiantly resisted invading hunters and rubber tappers, and many died in violent conflicts, but contact was made in the 1970s when the government bulldozed a highway through their land. Hundreds died from diseases and in violent confrontations with army units sent in to quell their resistance to the road. General Gentil Noguera Paes said, ‘The road must be finished, even if we have to open fire on these murderous Indians to do so. They have already greatly defied us and they are getting in the way of construction.’ Brazil’s National Truth Commission is investigating atrocities against the Waimiri Atroari during this period.

Threatened tribe: By 1988 the Waimiri Atroari population had plummeted from 6,000 to just 374. Today they number over 1,500. At least one group of uncontacted Indians is believed to live in the their territory.

Threatened tribe: Just 370 km from Manaus there are two uncontacted tribes. Brazil is home to more uncontacted tribes than any other country: FUNAI estimates there are up to 80 uncontacted groups. Many, such as the Kawahiva and the Awá, are on the run as heavily armed loggers and ranchers destroy their rainforest.

Survival International campaign to prevent the annihilation of tribal people.


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