Brazil’s ‘lost report’ into genocide surfaces after 40 years

Figueiredo report reveals alleged crimes against indigenous tribes from 1940s to 1980s and sheds light on current land policy

and Jan Rocha, guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 29 May 2013

Figueiredo report, Brazil

[Umutima shaman in 1957: the Figueiredo report caused an outcry after it revealed crimes against Brazil’s indigenous population. Photograph: José Idoyaga/Survival]

A “lost” report into genocide, torture, rape and enslavement of indigenous tribes during Brazil‘s military dictatorship has been rediscovered, raising fresh questions about whether the government has made amends and punished those responsible.

The 7,000-page Figueiredo report has not been seen for more than 40 years, but extracts acquired by the Guardian reveal hundreds of alleged crimes and perpetrators.

Submitted in 1967 by the public prosecutor Jader de Figueiredo Correia, the document details horrific abuse by the Indian Protection Service (widely known as the SPI), which was set up to improve the livelihoods of indigenous communities but often ended up as a mechanism to rob them of land or wipe them out with guns or poison.

The document caused an international storm when it was released, leading two years later to the foundation of the tribal rights organisation Survival International. Brazil, however, failed to jail a single person despite initial charges against 134 officials alleged to be involved in more than 1,000 crimes. Continue reading