March of women: Funai in Roraima has its first indigenous coordinator

At the beginning of March, marked by the International Day of Women’s Struggle, the first indigenous coordinator of the National Foundation for Indigenous Peoples (Funai) from Roraima (RR) took office in a symbolic ceremony. “This historic and collective moment brings us together and shows the unity that makes the indigenous movement strong”, said Marizete Macuxi, from the Maturuca community, in the Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous Land.

The leadership of the Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous Land, Jacir Macuxi; the president of Funai, Joenia Wapichana and the regional coordinator, Marizete Macuxi|Lohana Chaves/Funai

Marizete Macuxi, 42 years old, has a degree in Indigenous Land Management from the Federal University of Roraima (UFRR) and works as an agricultural technician.

The inauguration was attended by the president of Funai, Joenia Wapichana, indigenous leaders, such as the vice president of the Hutukara Yanomami Association, Dario Kopenawa, and activists of the indigenous struggle.

Marizete was nominated by the indigenous movement itself during the 1st Unified Assembly on Indigenous Health and Education.

“My priority is to organize the house. As we are in this struggle for recovery, we are going to organize it so that we can implement actions to support the indigenous communities here”, he told G1.

She takes over the agency in the midst of the humanitarian crisis experienced in the Yanomami Indigenous Land.

Bomb of the Fortnight

Research by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), carried out between November 2021 and August 2022 to assess the coverage and quality of Prenatal and Childbirth Care offered to indigenous women in Mato Grosso do Sul (MS), pointed out inequalities in access and adequate care for the needs of pregnant women in the state.

The differences, according to the study, are due to the low percentage of prenatal care offered to these women in the state. The researchers interviewed 469 indigenous women who received childbirth assistance in 10 municipalities in the state. Most of the indigenous women interviewed were from the Guarani-Kaiowá (63.4%) and Terena (33.8%) ethnic groups, lived in a village (86.1%) and received prenatal care at a basic indigenous health unit (85.7%). %).

The study showed that 51.5% of women had seven or more prenatal consultations (241); 37.2% (157) four to six consultations; and 11.3% (53) had none or had one to three appointments. In addition, 66.3% (311) of women started prenatal care in the first trimester and about 33.7%, or 158, only in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.


Federal deputy Célia Xakriabá (PSOL-MG) secured more than 200 signatures from deputies and senators and filed the request for the recreation of the Mixed Parliamentary Front in Defense of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

At the beginning of each legislature, it is necessary to reinstitute these collectives. They have no formal prerogative in legislative activity, but they are spaces for political articulation.

“Our parliamentary front is here, to lead and to think of strategic solutions for this parliament, which cannot be omitted [na pauta indígena]”, said Célia Xakriabá at the group’s relaunch event, at the Câmara Verde Hall. “This will be a space for technical and political debate”.

However, the extreme right, represented by the ruralist-Bolsonarist deputy Coronel Chrisóstomo (PL-RO), also articulates the collection of signatures to create an equivalent entity. Chrisóstomo defends mining in Indigenous Lands and is against the demarcation of these areas, among other positions considered anti-indigenous.

“The recreation of the front before the extreme right is a demonstration of political strength”, evaluates the founding partner of Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) Márcio Santilli. “We are entering a new stage in the life of this front, in which demands for resistance to attacks against indigenous rights remain present. At the same time, we will have to reinforce the positive agenda, of building a new indigenous policy, now with the face and actors of a new indigenous policy, which begins to remain in the institutional spaces of this country”, he said, also during the relaunch event from the Front.

Other highlights

The Amnesty Commission of the Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship appointed, for the first time since the country’s re-democratization, an indigenous counselor, the lawyer Maíra Pankararu, to assist in the discussion, evaluation and reparation of cases of persecution by the military dictatorship of indigenous peoples. A theme, until now, invisible in space.

According to a report by the National Truth Commission (CNV), delivered in 2014, more than eight thousand indigenous people were killed or disappeared. The number is probably an underestimate, as the team surveyed only 10 of the 305 indigenous peoples existing in Brazil.

Maíra Pankararu|Personal archive

“Very little is known about what happened to the indigenous people during the dictatorship. To research this, we practically need to start from scratch,” said Maíra Pankararu in an interview with Marie Claire magazine.

Maíra specializes in Social Law and Public Policy and is about to hand in her master’s thesis at the University of Brasília (UnB) on the subject of indigenous peoples in the context of transitional justice. According to her, the few who researched the topic were not indigenous, which is why she decided to specialize in the topic.

“We have no idea how brutal the military dictatorship was in relation to indigenous peoples. Even I, studying this for three years straight, have no idea. We have a lot of documents to uncover, a lot of history to reveal that we haven’t had access to yet,” he said.

A case remembered by the specialist is that of the Krenak Indigenous Agricultural Reformatory, established by the dictatorship in the city of Resplendor, in Minas Gerais. There, an Indigenous Rural Guard was also created, which became known as “Grin”, in 1969. Indigenous people of some ethnic groups were subjected to torture.

In 2021, Judge Anna Cristina Rocha, from the 14th Federal Court of Minas Gerais, condemned the Union, Funai and the government of Minas Gerais for “violations of human rights and crimes committed against the Krenak, supported by public policies and state institutions created specifically for this purpose, during the period of the military dictatorship in Brazil”.


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