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Shame on Brazil: Forceful Removal of Indigenous Group Stains World Cup With the Blood of 500 Years of Genocide

While nations competed to go to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on Friday, Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples were clashing with police over a building they’ve used as a community center in Rio de Janeiro for almost 30 years.

With the World Cup and the Olympics around the corner, local authorities have been under pressure from FIFA and International the Olympic Committee to make room for housing, parking and administrative offices.

It so happens the space in question is literally steps from the famous Maracanã Stadium and was designated to become a parking lot by the World Cup organizing committee. However, leaders of Aldeia Maracanã (Maracanã Village), the group living in the building that was formerly the National Indigenous Museum, had plans to make their presence permanent and convert the space into an Indigenous school.

The forced removal of Native Brazilians by police was characterized by Aldeia Maracanã leaders as part of “513 years of struggle.”

Brazilian authorities, World Cup and Olympic organizers need to know the world is watching. This blog and many of our readers are very upset that our brothers and sisters in Brazil were treated as foreigners on their own land and violently removed from their center.

We demand accommodations be made for the Aldeia Maracanã to return and for resources to be appropriated for the establishment of an Indigenous cultural and academic center within sight of Maracanã Stadium, so that locals and tourists are forever reminded that the country’s original inhabitants are still very much alive and present in Brazil.

Photo credit: Vanderlei Almeida, AFP

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