A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
In the State of Mato Grosso do Sul 51 indigenous territories are going through the formal recognition and demarcation process (required to give the indigenous communities legal rights over their land). Many other communities are waiting to have their territories recognized. These processes are being impeded as a result of political pressure from agribusinesses.
The state has seen a huge expansion in sugar farming in recent years - the area of land planted with sugar cane tripled in just seven years from 160 thousand hectares in 2007 to 570 thousand hectares between in 2012. The state has the highest rate of violence against indigenous peoples - 37 of the 60 indigenous people murdered in Brazil in 2012 were killed in the State and 567 of the 1067 cases of violence against indigenous people happened there. There are clear links between agribusiness expansion and the extraordinary level of violence against indigenous people.
There are many land disputes involving indiginous communities across Mato Grosso do Sul State. We will show you the human side of this bitter conflict.