Brazil- Indigenous Peoples’ Economy for Sovereignty

Between November 25 and 30, 2023 I was participating, along with 11 other missionaries from CIMI (Indigenous Missionary Council) and 23 indigenous people from Mato Grosso representing 10 people with whom we work as CIMI, in an Exchange with the Tupinambá peoples in southern Bahia.

We visited one of the 22 communities of the Tupinambá Indigenous Land of Olivença, located between the municipalities of Ilhéus, Una and Buerarema, in southern Bahia. Where the Chieftain is a great leader named Babau known worldwide for his beautiful mission among the people. In the village of Tupinambá, Serra do Padeiro, there are 250 families. None of them are hungry or in need. The degree of violence is zero. The women were never beaten by their husbands and neither were the children.

There is an organization where 70% of what is produced is distributed among the families and 30% is retained in the institution, and is used to hire labor, buy a car, pay a lawyer, go on trips, carry out day-to-day activities. Every five years they sit down to do the planning. Today the income per family is around R$3,500, which is considered low. If they were able to obtain the legal average, which is around 5,000 or 5,500, they could make their dreams come true. Because they also have dreams and desires. They experience autonomy in thinking, production, energy and finance. It is the cradle of Cocoa in Brazil; also very good production of banana, cassava, cupuaçu, several fruits. The best cassava flour is produced in Serra do Padeiro.

Attacks on the Babau leader and the Tupinambá people have been stronger since these indigenous people decided to demand the demarcation of their lands in the early 2000s, initiating a process to rescue areas totaling 47,000 hectares. Today, although the demarcation process has not officially concluded, they already occupy almost 80% of this area.

Veronica Hergesell CCV