Paresis Indians want to expand farming and master up-to-date technology.
This year, the Paresi people of the Utiariti indigenous land proceeded to harvest with up-to-date technology the nearly 4,000 hectares of corn they had sowed.
In February, their modern machines had harvested 9,000 hectares of soybeans, according to a report in the daily Folha de S. Paulo.
At Campo Novo do Parecis (410 km northwest of Cuiabá, (State of Mato Grosso), the nearest city, nine trucks were used to transport the soybean harvest and sell it.
This is a characteristic example of the Paresis’ successful integration into the great Brazilian family.
And it is yet another fact that debunks eco-communist ideologues seeking to keep the Indians trapped in the “savage” and miserable life dreamed up by theoreticians of communist missiology.
Despite opposition from the Federal Public Prosecutor and the lack of environmental licensing by IBAMA, the Indians still want to harvest and sell their crop, Folha reported.
The Paresis are developing and want to improve even more for the sake of their families, children, and the Brazilian nation, of which they feel a living and inseparable part.
At the end of last year the Paresis formed a cooperative and made contracts with non-white farmers, one of the points of contention with the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, Folha explained.
To comply with Law 11.460, the Indians assure that they do not use GMO seeds in their lands.
Were it not for the threat of legal punishment, the Indians, who know nature, would not give any importance to the environmentalist demagoguery against GMOs.
Last year, for example, IBAMA fined several indigenous and non-indigenous producers R $ 128 million ($34 million) for using them.
“We preserve the environment, our lands and traditions. We just want to use a small part of it for our livelihood,” says Ronaldo Zokezomaiake, 44, president of Copi hanama, the Paresis cooperative.
“The Paresis Indians plant and produce with great skill, demonstrating that they can integrate with agriculture without losing their origins and traditions,” twitted Environment Minister Ricardo Salles after visiting the indigenous land.
Paresis defend themselves: “they think the Indian has to live in the pre-colonial period”
The Paresis received a total area of 1.5 million hectares and planted soy, corn, beans and sunflower only on 14,600 hectares, that is 1% of the reservation established in 1984.
If they were not Indians, they would be regarded as some of the most unproductive landowners in Brazil and perhaps have their lands expropriated for land reform purposes.
Their agricultural tradition, Ronaldo explains, dates back to 1976, when five Indians were taken by Catholic missionaries to see plantations in Rio Grande do Sul and learned how to operate tractors.
When they returned, they began the first crop of 50 hectares of rice.
This is a laudable example of what good missionaries can do when not intoxicated by eco-indigenist or communist theology.
Restrictions by the government, which claims to protect the Indians, caused many of them to work on farms.
As a result, the population in Indian lands dropped to fewer than 300 people.
Now, with a prudent modernization there are 2,600 Indians in 63 villages, all with electricity and wireless internet.
They acted with good judgment when planting soybeans and made an agreement with non-Indian farmers, who provided them with fertilizers, inputs, machines and part of the labor.
The Indians would lease part of the land and others would work on it. The crop was divided up after the whites were reimbursed for their investment.
The Public Prosecutor rejected the agreements, considering it a lease prohibited by Article 231 of the Constitution, which speaks of “exclusive usufruct” of the lands by the indigenous peoples.
But this stance, which sounds rather sectarian or racist, actually contradicts the deepest and genuine wishes of the Paresi people.
The Indians have a modern and productive agriculture integrated in Brazil, of which they feel a part like everyone else.
Ronaldo rightly criticizes those who want to stop production on indigenous land: “they think the Indian has to live in the pre-colonial period.”
In the real world, this position hails from theologies and ideologies opposed to the Indian people.
Arnaldo Zunizakae, 47, frequently goes to Brasília to talk with ruralist ministers and congressmen hoping that the new administration will end this situation that they consider unjust.
Folha explains that the Paresis propose that the government establish specific lines of credit for indigenous agriculture; for as the lands belong to the Union, they cannot be offered as collateral.
They also argue that the legislation should allow production agreements with non-Indians and the use of GMO seeds.
“If the law authorizes non-Indians to plant GMO seeds, why does it treat us differently?” asks Arnaldo.
Due to the uncertain legal situation, the Indians have had difficulty closing contracts with large food companies and have to settle for smaller firms with lower prices.
According to Arnaldo, GMO seeds generate 10% higher productivity and require fewer pesticides, helping to protect the environment.
“We are still far from doing agriculture as it should be,” he says. In the last soybean crop, the yield was 47 sacks per hectare, when the national average is 55.
But according to the Indians, the balance is largely positive. Last year they distributed R $ 1.3 million to the villages.
“Here, 20 years ago, I had a guard at the supermarket door because they thought Indians were going to steal. Now they open the doors for us, they know we’re going to buy,” says Arnaldo.
The Indians, he says, cannot live only by hunting, fishing, and gathering.
“We have had four hundred years of contact with whites, our culture has been influenced,” he says, denying they are being manipulated by farmers or the government. “It’s not true, it’s all our decision,” he says.
Gilberto Vieira, deputy secretary of CIMI (Indigenist Missionary Council), an agency dependent on Brazil’s National Conference of Bishops (CNBB) usually engaged in the environmentalist war against agriculture, expressed disagreement with the Indians he claims to defend.
He could not but say that the autonomy of indigenous peoples must be respected when they are economically exploiting their lands, but that the law must be followed.
It turns out that the legislation includes demagogic restrictions imposed by socialist ideologues to favor communist-tribalism, a straightjacket from which the Paresi Indians want to break free.
Vieira dispelled all doubts as to his ideological antipathy for Indians who want progress.
“These activities have to be done according to the traditional usages and customs of the people, and as far as I know, soy production does not meet these requirements,” says Vieira.
In other words, the Paresis cannot do what they are doing because the green-communist ideologues do not want them to.
They are being coerced into “living in the pre-colonial period,” as the Indian Ronaldo said.
Vieira concluded that if the Paresis continue wishing to progress in the direction they are heading, Folha de S. Paulo writes, “this could even lead to a revision of the possession of the land by the Paresis,” meaning they would lose their lands. That of course sounds like a threat.
The official of CNBB’s tentacle, CIMI, strongly condemned the Indians: “The Paresis have adhered to a market logic. This can generate immediate gains but bring environmental problems in the future and harm the Indians themselves.”
In the arbitrary eco-communist logic, the Paresi Indians have committed one of the worst ecological “sins”: “They have adhered to a market logic.”
CIMI thus becomes an enemy of the Indians, suiting the claims of eco-communist theologians.
What happens to the Paresis Indians? They are not allowed to be what they want to be, and are still accused of the worst ecological crimes!
Could there be anything more unjust and opposed to the unity of Brazil?