En: Brazil is 500 years

Marsha Hanzi hanzibra at svn.com.br
Fri Apr 14 10:47:07 EDT 2000

-----Mensagem Original----- 
De: Liliana Pires 
Para: allcohorts at lead.org 
Enviada em: Quinta-feira, 27 de Abril de 2000 01:10
Assunto: Brazil is 500 years

Dear friends, 

Below there are some pictures and a small report from BBC (source:  http://www.brasil-outros500.org.br/).

Brazil is celebrating 500 years of existence. If we consider this relatively short period of time, the historical process of its creation and the economic and political driving forces since those days till now, we still have a long walk to achieve maturity. Sometimes we believe we are on the way, but from time to time (because of very deep reasons that are hard to neutralise) our utopia is weakened. It's the right moment to restore our strength, stand up and start walking again! 

In the last days we have been knocked on our faces. It's been like reviving dictatorship. Very sad! 

Hopefully we will be able to make good use of this episode, which can help us towards our way!! 

I just wanted to share this with you.

Peace and listening,

Liliana Pires 

     Fotos: Comitê de Preparação à Conferência Indígena 


5,000 police have been deployed to provide security

22.04.2000 - 17:00 - London BBC

Brazilian riot police fired tear gas at demonstrators during celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the arrival in Brazil of the first Europeans.
The protesters - including many indigenous Indians - were marching near the coastal town of Porto Seguro, where the presidents of Brazil and Portugal were due to join the celebrations.
The marchers were stopped in their tracks by tear gas and stun grenades, and ran back towards the beach where Portuguese sailors first landed 500 years ago.
About 5,000 police have been deployed in the security operation surrounding the celebrations, along with helicopters and two warships.
Thousands of landless and indigenous people had attempted to converged on Porto Seguro to demonstrate against social exclusion in Brazil.

Heavy security 

Police were given orders to keep protesters out of the town, and about 40 people were arrested.
Reports suggested that some protesters had managed to evade the security forces and entered the town by car in small groups.
Some 30 buses have been hired to bring about 1,000 landless demonstrators camped on a roadside 65km away.
The official programme for the celebrations was released only hours before they began in an attempt to foil the protesters. 

Brazil's President Cardoso had earlier decided to cancel a visit to a indigenous village on security grounds.
But he will meet indigenous people's representatives and he has made recent promises to demarcate more indigenous areas as demanded.
During a conference of indigenous people this week serious divisions emerged, with more radical leaders implacably opposed to meeting Mr Cardoso and to giving him what they regard as an unjustified photo opportunity. 


Indigenous Indians say that racial genocide, forced labour and disease have dramatically cut their population from an estimated 5 million before the Portuguese arrived to today's estimate of 350,000.
"This is a country where there is still murder of indigenous people, where there is still no justice. I don't understand why I should celebrate," said Marilene Jesus dos Santos, from the Pataxo Ha-Ha-Hae tribe.
The BBC's Stephen Cviic in Porto Seguro says the authorities may well come to regret this show of force, which has huge symbolic significance, since it was the arrival of the Portuguese exactly 500 years ago which was responsible for the huge drop in numbers suffered by indigenous Indians.
In Portugal few celebrations were held to mark the date.
Brazilian and Portuguese flags were hoisted to the sound of the national anthems at the former site of the Expo 98 World's Fair, the centre stage for events marking the date in Portugal.
Official celebrations began on 8 March in Lisbon with the presidents of both countries launching a trans-Atlantic regatta of Portuguese and Brazilian sailors. 

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