Brazil: Maracana indigenous community delay World Cup eviction

A Brazilian indigenous community that has been facing eviction from a building next to the Maracana football stadium has celebrated the police's decision to leave the area.

Riot police in Rio de Janeiro had encircled the area early on Saturday expecting a court order to evict them.

The building is meant to be demolished as part of preparations for next year's World Cup.

Community leaders said they were ready to fight back with bows and arrows.

Campaigners say the eviction and demolition of the historic building - Rio's former indigenous museum, built in 1862 - are unnecessary.

The community, known as Aldeia Maracana (or Maracana tribe), settled in the disused building six years ago.

'Tourist attraction'

Brazilian authorities say the area needs to be cleared for the circulation of fans during the 2014 World Cup.

Rio's governor Sergio Cabral recently said the demolition was being demanded by the Fifa, the international football federation.

But Fifa's office in Brazil issued a letter denying the claim, says the BBC's Julia Carneiro in Rio.

There are plans to build a car park in the area. A nearby state school is also due to be demolished, despite protests by parents.

Several matches will be played in Brazil's biggest and most famous stadium, including the World Cup final.

When it reopens, in the next few months, it will have a total capacity of 78,000 spectators.

Maracana will also host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olympics.

The old Indigenous Museum, which belongs to the federal government, is in urgent need of repair. More than 20 families live there, planting traditional herbs and tobacco.

Campaign groups have tried to save it and keep the indigenous community where it has lived for the past six years.

The community hoped to be able to showcase their way of life to tourists during the World Cup.

Opposition legislator at the Rio de Janeiro Assembly Marcelo Freixo said tourists "would rather see a historic building next to the stadium than a car park or fast food joint".

A legal battle has been going on for months.

The local authorities have failed to get the court order, but campaigners expect the local authorities to continue pursuing the eviction in the next few days.

Responses to "Brazil Seeks to Evict Indigenous Community to Make Way for Sports Contests"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Its time the Greedy Corporations stop taking land from the Indigenous People around the World. Now Brazil is evicting the Natives to make a Sports Center on Native Land, this is outrageous, they have Old Buildings and Old Properties in Brazil they can tear down and make what they want, instead they want to bother the Indigenous People. We know who you are causing all the problems time to cut that crap out, Damn Lunatics, this people are entitled to live in Peace! If your not Indigenous its not your land and get the hell out!
    Stephen Fortune

  2. Anonymous says:

    GREED GREED GREED thats all it is Let these peolpe live in peace

  3. michelle wray says:

    Will someone somewhere please give these lost tribes some rights its heartbreaking reading-watching them loose more of their way of life everyday.I have wrote letters upon letters to the house of commons begging them to help...their answer?? They cant because there is no indigenous community in our country to help give them voice...So very sad

  4. Anonymous says:

    Where are you from Michelle wray?

  5. Anonymous says:

    There are indigenous people everywhere. They were murdered for the land America, Canada, Mexico and south America is now. The blood flows deep in the soil. It was a genocide. Millions and millions murdered and slaughtered.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If your ancestors touched the shores of South (or North) America before 1900, your family has indigenous blood in them. Where am I from? It doesn't matter. From Canada all the way to the southern tip of Chile. We are all the same. So why don't more of us care about OUR history because these indigenous people hold traditions that are our own. What hurts the most is that the destruction of cultures just keeps happening and a little piece of each of us is lost with them.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I like Michelle Wray, and anonymous' comments on Jan. 14.15/ 2013- BLOOD, GREED !!!

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