Brazil property rights: Tribes and farmers battle to the death - latimes.com
President Dilma Rousseff’s political alliance with the ruralistas was among the grievances listed by some of the protesters in the massive demonstrations that recently rocked Brazil. Afterward, in July, she met with indigenous leaders for the first time since taking office in 2011, but said in the meeting that she wouldn’t halt the changes to the process for demarcating land reserves that ruralistas have been pushing for.
“Dilma needed the agricultural industry for her election,” said Tonico Benites, a professor of anthropology and a specialist in indigenous issues at the Federal University of Greater Dourados. “And she needs them now in Congress too.”
The center of Brazil’s farming boom is also the center of violence here in Mato Grosso do Sul, a state that’s home to the country’s largest number of indigenous peoples and whose government is run by ruralistas.
More than 560 indigenous Brazilians have been killed in the last decade, according to CIMI, most of them in Mato Grosso do Sul.