Conflict & Justice

Re-Discovered Report Details Brazil's 'Extermination' of its Indigenous Peoples


A page from the long missing Figueiredo Report, documenting crimes against Brazil's Indian population. (Photo: Screenshot

A dark chapter in the history of Brazil came to light recently.

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A lost report into the treatment of Brazil's indigenous people has been located by human rights campaigners.

It details decades of abuse and exploitation by the very agency supposed to protect the Indians of the Amazon and other regions of Brazil, from the 1940s to the 1960s.

The indigenous peoples of Brazil were facing "extermination" in 1967 when a commission of inquiry reported on their conditions.

The report of this 1967 commission of inquiry is known as the Figueiredo Report after the lead investigator.

It said the worst crimes were being carried out by the very agency supposed to be protecting the Indians.

The report quickly "disappeared" under the military dictatorship, only to be re-discovered earlier this year.

Fiona Watson is Research and Campaigns director for Survival International, a group dedicated to protecting the world's isolated peoples, based in London.

The organization was set up in direct response to the Figueiredo report.

Watson says conditions for the indigenous peoples of Brazil did improve after the Figueiredo report, but problems persist to this day, in terms of expropriation of land and resources, and even murder and intimidation.