"Brazil Land Disputes Spread as Indians Take on Wildcat Miners"

"As Brazil struggles to solve land disputes between Indians and farmers on the expanding frontier of its agricultural heartland, more tensions over forest and mineral resources are brewing in the remote Amazon."

"The government of President Dilma Rousseff gave eviction notices to hundreds of non-Indian families in the Awá-Guajá reserve in Maranhão state in January and plans to relocate them by April, with the help of the army if necessary, Indian affairs agency Funai says.

The court order to clear the Awá territory follows the forced removal of some 7,000 soy farmers and cattle ranchers from the Marãiwatsédé Xavante reservation last year, a process profiled by Reuters that resulted in violent clashes.

Anthropologists say evictions from Awá territory could be even more complicated. It is thought to be a base for criminal logging operations and is also home to some indigenous families who have never had contact with outsiders, a combination that worries human rights groups lobbying for the evictions."

Lunae Parracho and Caroline Stauffer report for Reuters February 18, 2014.

Source: Reuters, 02/18/2014