Friday, May 31, 2013

Indian shot dead in growing land dispute in Brazil

A growing conflict over land ownership in Brazil's farm belt turned bloody on Thursday when an Indian was shot dead during the violent eviction of some 200 natives from a disputed property owned by a former congressman.

The Terena Indians refused a court order to leave the cattle ranch which they invaded two weeks ago. A federal agency designated the ranch as ancestral native land in 2010, but a local court ruled last year that it belonged to the farmer.

The Indians threw stones at riot police who fired tear gas to dislodge the occupiers from the 17,000-hectare property in the southern state of Mato Grosso do Sul, which produces soy and corn for export.