Cardiff University’s Antonio Ioris, principal investigator of the Indigenous Brazil Violated project, presented a paper at the World Conference on Genocide Studies – II, in Ankara, Turkey, June 26-27 2021.
Agrarian Capitalism’s Genocidal Trail: the Saga of the Guarani-Kaiowa
Abstract: Although genocide is an expression commonly used today in relation to the dramatic challenges faces by indigenous peoples around the world, the significance of the Guarani-Kaiowa genocidal experience is not casual and cannot be merely sloganised. The indigenous genocide unfolding in the Brazilian State of Mato Grosso do Sul – Kaiowcide – is not just a case of hyperbolic violence or widespread murdering, but it is something qualitatively different from other serious crimes committed against marginalised, subaltern communities. Kaiowcide is actually the reincarnation of old genocidal practices of agrarian capitalism employed to extend and unify the national territory. In other words, Kaiowcide has become a necessity of mainstream development, whilst the sanctity of regional economic growth and private rural property are excuses invoked to justify the genocidal trail. The phenomenon combines strategies and procedures based on the competition and opposition between groups of people who dispute the same land and the relatively scarce social opportunities of an agribusiness-based economy. Only the focus in recent years may have shifted from assimilation and confinement to abandonment and confrontation, but the intent to destabilise and eliminate the original inhabitants of the land through the asphyxiation of their religion, identity and, ultimately, geography seems to rage unabated. In that challenging context, creative adaptation and collective resistance have been the most crucial requisites if the Guarani-Kaiowa had any intention to survive through recurrent genocides. Many lessons must be learned and could directly contribute to improve democracy, justice and the rule of law in the country.
You can download the conference documents below: