Indigenous Group in Brazil Faces Vicious Attack

After passions were inflamed by a land dispute, Brazilian farmers viciously attacked members of the indigenous group Gamela with machetes in the Brazilian state of Maranhao. Maranhao is in the northeastern part of Brazil and is among the poorest and most violent states in the country.

Location of Maranhao in Brazil.

Thirteen members of the Gamela tribe were hospitalized, with one member having both hands and legs cut off.

The dispute between farmers and indigenous tribes has been an on-going battle over who has rights to traditional territory that has been seized by the Brazilian government in the past. The Gamela occupied land last week they claimed as its own, though the land had been seized by the Brazilian government in a past military dictatorship and given to farmers, who know use the land to graze cattle.

Human rights groups have criticized Brazil for not doing more to protect indigenous peoples. Local police are often described as corrupt and decline to intervene on the behalf of the Gamela.

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