Bolivarian Catholics and other environmentalist NGOs of the extreme left movement expose the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to a vexatious situation, in which its team, leaded by Mr. Francisco José E. Praeli has mistakenly visits the Brazilian mestizo community as if it were the “Munduruku do Planalto” indigenous group, or as lies with longer legs can affect and tarnish the image of the people and the most noble flags. I tried to warn you Mr. Praeli, but you would’nt want to hear me!!
I humbly suggest that you Mr. Praeli and your IACHR superiors recognize that this social interpretative dispute over public and state recognition of a community ethnic claim and the resulting territorial rights claims are internal matters that need to be addressed and resolved only by representative entities of our society. I can assure you that the inadequate international interference in internal affairs will be taken very seriously by the next Brazilian government.
Since I was informed of your coming to Santarem I tried in vain by all means to find you in some way to arrange a meeting, an interview, or an encounter with the leader of this entourage. I called all the state agencies that I thought had news of your coming or that were in some way involved or inviting, or sponsoring the IACHR. Unfortunately, we have identified an enormous communicative incapacity on your part, or a deliberate desire not to communicate your presence in Santarém, few of the MUNICIPAL PUBLIC AUTHORITIES, and none of the City Hall or our Parliamentarians, nor our University Teachers were aware of your coming, nor were they informed of the passage of such a respected and honorable representative of the Organization of American States.
Record that our municipal authorities, our representatives of the population that was democratically elected were summarily ignored by your Commission. The only Brazilian citizens who gave me information about your whereabouts were precisely those that you wont did not hear, and that tomorrow may suffer more heavily the consequence of your passage here: that other part of the residents of the Açaizal community that you have chosen to despise and ignore and would not listen, that is, those other community members who have chosen not to declare themselves indigenous because they understand that they are not and do not agree that the Açaizal community becoming recognized as indigenous because of the interests of some few.
This portion of residents feared and still regret that they have not been heard. For it was and is in their behalf that I address the word to inform you of some truths. The truths that I want to present to you today throughout the day and that I have written and sent you, are the result of more than 8 years of research in the region of Santarém-PA and can be divided into five parts that I outline and enumerate for your better understanding:
1) Ethnohistoric studies I’ve conducted over more than 14 months of ethnographic research in the region have generated an unambiguous mass of data to offer absolute certainty and security that allows me to affirm and prove that the community of Açaizal, which you have decided visit with his entourage, never was and is not an indigenous community. It is a community that is in the process of claiming ethnic recognition, but has been deeply and increasingly questioned by the Santarian society. This is because the population of Açaizal, who lives there, is an Amazonian mestizo population like any other of the 285 communities in the region. Açaizal is not even an ethnically differentiated population, let alone an indigenous people and for this reason it is not deserving of the rights differentiated by our Brazilian Federative Constitution.
2) The area claimed by the indigenous self-declared population isn’t an indigenous territory, it didn’t pass through the administrative process of identification and delimitation studies, it was not and is not recognized as “indigenous land” basically because the indigenous identity of the group requesting recognition ethnic, has been and will be questioned by the santarena regional society. Such an area can not be and will not be recognized as an indigenous land by the relevant state institutions, because it does not has the basis for it, therefore, it is a fraud, an ethnic articulation, to nationalize and socialize and take the private property from several producers and community members who do not declare themselves this ethnic segregationist movement of promoted by the regional left NGO´s.
3) The social and anthropological research conducted by me, with the reading of several publications and regional reports combined and complemented by the field research work carried out in several communities in the Santareno Plateau region, made explicit and strong evidence of ethnic fraud and identity manipulation. In other words, the ethnic self-declension of the “Munduruku do Planalto” group is questionable and strongly questioned by a growing part of the regional population, including several municipal authorities ignored by your Excellency, that you despise and did not listened hearing only one sie of the story.
4) Açaizal’s indigenous self-declaration is a artificial one, illegitimate and unfounded since there are no facts that substantiate the ethnic claim, while there are facts that prove the ethnic fraud, that is, the identity manipulation promoted as a strategy that serves the interests of NGOs financed by international capital, especially the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT in portuguese) among others to induce communities to self-declare indigenous. Such a strategy was accepted by a small portion of opportunistic regional residents, who were stimulated by the promise of state benefits and by voters willing to implement a misoneist, socialist, anti-capitalist political agenda that would be used by certain sectors of the government.
5) The awareness that I have of this whole process only makes me realize that you, Mr Praeli, and your Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have been used by lizards, militants and opportunists in a spurious attempt to legitimize ethnic and segregationists claims that are still the object of federal studies, independent analyzes and strong questioning and contesteting by the regional society.
I regret to inform you, but your presence here in Açaizal has unfortunately been kidnapped and used by NGOs here to reinforce unfounded, illegitimate identity and territory demands, object of honest, democratic and legitimate questioning.
It would be unfortunate if Your Excellency endorsed such errors and demands in your Visiting Report. It would be even worse to have to publicly contest it, which is why I ask you not to endorse such claims publicly.
In reinforcing my contribution, I strongly suggest to your Excellency, Commissioner Praeli not to endorse the misleading language of referring to the mestizo Santarenos community of Açaizal as “indigenous“, nor to refer to the Santarena community of Açaizal as an “indigenous village” because it isn´t indeed.
I humbly suggest that you and your IACHR superiors recognize that this interpretative dispute over public and state recognition of a community ethnic claim and the resulting territorial rights claims are internal matters that need to be addressed and resolved only by representative entities of society regional.
The inadequate interference of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in this case, besides being unnecessary, will be interpreted as a disrespect to the entire municipal public authority, inflaming a situation that has not yet adressed. I can assure you that the inadequate international interference in internal affairs will be taken very seriously by the next Brazilian government.
If you do this, Mr. Francisco José Praeli, it is with much regret, that I will have to publicly contest you by public exposing the mistake that you, with your enormous public authority, endorses. If your Excellency or any other member of your IACHR makes this mistake, I suggest that you correct it as soon as possible so that the error is still contained in time for worse consequences.
If you insist on this error, I will have to file a complaint against you in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights or higher instances about the mistaken choices you have made here in Santarém and to the highest authorities of the Brazilian Autonomous Public Power, including our new democratically elected President Jair M. Bolsonaro and to the our Brazilian Parliament about your improper and inappropriate endorsement to this strategy of ethnic racial segregation that would affect the future of life, society and economy of my beloved Pearl of Tapajós, Santarém.
Finally, I regret if my insistence on cooperating with your respectful mission with the intention of informing you of these facts and truths has resulted in a first misinterpretation of my intentions. I regret again the inconvenience that may have been, but I was aware that you, as well as even other authorities in the country, are ignorant about this reality.
You, more than anyone else, are witnesses to how much I have run, how hard I have tried, and I have endeavored to cooperate with you and your mission by insisting on listening to me to warn you of the risk and danger that this ethno-racial organization funded by international NGOs carried out by interests of opportunistic individuals.
I would like to stress that my most honest intention was to spare you to the public embarrassment and shame of being engendered in this ethnic trap and then having to be publicly contested by the Santareno people represented by our autonomous Municipal Parliament.
I reinforce once more and always my highest protests of consideration and admiration for your person, Mr Praeli, and the institution that you represents and my solidarity with the important social flag that you raise, unfortunately kidnapped by individuals and organizations that do not deserve the credit and consideration that your cause deserves.
Sinceraly, Edward M. Luz. Brazilian Social Anthropologist.