Indigenous Pataxó accuse landowner for attempting to

Indigenous Pataxó from the Comexatibá community, in the district of Cumuruxatiba, in Prado, northern Bahia, accuse landowner Lucas Lessa of trying to run over the indigenous leader Xawã Pataxó (Ricardo), this Wednesday (20), with a Hilux. Ricardo, who is the secretary of indigenous affairs for the Prado Prefecture, also accuses Lessa of breaking his motorcycle.

The victim claimed that Lucas Lessa was the one inside the car, along with other men. “Unfortunately he threw the car at us. I managed to get free, but it still caught my right leg. But he broke my bike too, he went over the bike”, said Ricardo.

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In a statement, the leaders stated that this is an attempt at “coercion” that is “motivated by the dispute over mainly the beaches of Moreira and Calambrião, which have been surrounded by land grabbers to create luxury condominiums.

The accesses traditionally used by extractive, seafood and indigenous communities were fenced off, preventing the passage of these peoples and tourists who frequent the region”.

Ignored victim?

Ricardo informed that he tried unsuccessfully to report the case to the 8th Interior Police Coordination (Coorpin). According to him, the delegate present at the time would have refused to hear him. Also according to the indigenous leader, minutes before, Lucas Lessa, the alleged aggressor, had given a statement to the authority.

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In the police report, Lessa gave his version of the case, stating that indigenous people would be putting walls on his property and that he went to the location to verify the information. Upon arriving in the territory, indigenous people would have threatened him.

Access roads to the sea

After the attack, the indigenous leaders sent a letter to the Federal Public Ministry, the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), the National Indian Foundation (Funai) and the competent municipal bodies demanding urgent measures for the definitive reopening of all roads of access, trails and roads that are access to the sea “that were invaded, taken and obstructed by farmers, alleged owners, businessmen in the tourism sector and land speculators”.

The indigenous people claim that the closing of the access roads to the sea makes fishing impossible, which contributes to the “state of food insecurity of “hundreds of families who have fish as their main source of food and income”.

They also demanded that a meeting be held with the aim of mapping all the access roads that have been closed over the past two decades. They even asked that the privatization of the beaches be prohibited.

Land conflict

According to the indigenous people, the Pataxó ethnic group has occupied the region for centuries. Some documents from Funai even register the presence of the ethnic group there since the 16th century, in a territory that includes “the beaches above the village, the Fazenda Paraíso and the supposed Fazenda dos Lessa and continues north to Caraíva”, they state.

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“Since 1999 the Pataxós reclaimed their territory and founded five villages around the village of Cumuruxatiba: Kaí, Pequi, Tibá, 2 brothers and Gurita. There is currently a decision of the Supreme Federal Court (STF) in favor of the Pataxó that reaffirms their right to the land. However, there is no type of State inspection that guarantees the security and effectiveness of this right.”

Open space

The report sought Lucas Lessa through social media to comment on the case, but did not find him. The space remains open for speech.

Brasil de Fato also sought out the Public Security Secretariat of the State of Bahia (SSP-BA), but so far there has been no return.

Edition: Douglas Matos

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