"This book is the result of a shared journey of discovery and hope. Walking through our territory (tekoha), together with our great indigenous leaders, as well as allied non-indigenous people, Ioris, as we affectionately call him, gradually learned about faces, bodies and landscapes marked by historical violence since the arrival of the white colonizers, who still today continue to privately appropriate wealth in the capitalist world. This book on Kaiowcide is product of these wanderings, of appetite for critical reflection and clear political commitment in defence of the people Guarani and Kaiowa. For all that, I want to express gratitude in the language of my people, aguyjevete (thank you very much)."— Eliel Benites, Federal University of Grande Dourados
"This book about the indigenous genocide underway in Mato Grosso do Sul (Brazil), which has as victims the Guarani-Kaiowa and Guarani-Ñandeva, represents an extremely important contribution. It provides a lucid and compelling description and analysis of the very serious situation experienced by these indigenous peoples, who are increasingly impacted by agribusiness and have lost control over their traditional territories, with the establishment of a state of continued violence. Going through the various historical situations that the Guarani went through and the consolidation of an interethnic relationship since the colonial and post-colonial periods, the work focuses and describes in detail a gradual but striking ‘Kaiowcide’, as defined by the author, which has been occurring mainly from the 1970s onwards and which continues to worsen. For these reasons, I strongly recommend the publication and reading of the book."— Fabio Mura, Federal University of Paraíba
"This book is essential and compelling reading and a stimulating contribution to ongoing debates on genocide. At its core, it argues for a radical re-evaluation of the definition and nature of genocide in the twenty first century, drawing on the dramatic situation of the Guarani-Kaiowa indigenous people, who continue to confront a little understood genocide.
It is an urgent manifesto for our times, calling on us to understand and value indigenous peoples in all their diversity, their rich knowledge and connection to nature, and their fundamental role in protecting our planet’s biodiversity
Based on years of field work, it is also a finely drawn portrait of an indigenous people constantly grappling with the horrific legacy of colonialism and post-colonial aggression in the form of massive land theft by agri-business, racism and deeply unequal power structures in Brazil. This is illuminated by powerful first-hand testimonies of a people who, against all the odds, refuse to give up and continue to defy institutionalised racism, corruption and greed.
This is a topical and timely book and will appeal to a broad audience interested in genocide studies, human rights, history, politics, economics, and environmental issues in Latin America."— Fiona Watson, Advocacy and Research Director at Survival International
"This is an important book, much more than an outsider history of the genocide of Brazil's Guarani-Kaiowa people and their centuries-old and ongoing battle for survival - against colonisers, missionaries, land grabbers, miners and now Covid-19.
Ioris is an impassioned chronicler who explores the culture and beliefs of the Kaiowa and shares their conviction that ‘another world is possible’."— Mike Gatehouse, editor at Latin America Bureau (LAB)
Brazil’s development policies have long been based on substantial exploitation of the country’s natural resources, such as its rainforests. This continues to cause depredation of indigenous peoples’ traditional territories, which are widely unprotected from the threat of large-scale extractive industry’s activities, such as mining and logging, mostly endorsed by the State. Without any prior consultation or consent, these invasions take place alongside systematic intimidation, and unspeakable violence.
Mato Grosso do Sul has been the centre-stage for severe land conflicts between the agribusiness and the Guarani-Kaiowa, and much indigenous blood has been shed. This violence and destruction have further intensified since the election of the far-right politician, Jair Bolsonaro, who promised to retract pro-environmental legislation before he took office as Brazil’s president in January 2019. Regrettably, these threats have been exacerbated by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, which is only the latest major threat in Brazilian indigenous peoples’ history of exclusion.
While waiting to return to their ancestral land, the Guarani-Kaiowa live in precarious campsites lining roadsides, on town peripheries, at the back of farms, and/or in small government reserves, unable to resume their cultural practices so tied to the land. This only magnifies the tragic humanitarian crisis, which undermines the life of the group. With the murder of their leaders by farmer’s militias, the killing of their children often run over by trucks and the suicide of their youth, the Guarani-Kaiowa live in relentless turmoil, which led them to a social and cultural void.
In his book, Ioris fulfills an important political function, which gives visibility to the historical tragedy experienced by the Guarani-Kaiowa families in the last century. The book offers a deeper understanding of the group’s plight under this ongoing destabilizing violence, which the author refers to as genocidal. In addition, the book draws on the interesting parallel between the Guarani-Kaiowa’s rich mythology and current events impacting their lives, offering rare glimpses into the group’s distinct culture and cosmology.— Genna Naccache, Documentary Photographer, Filmmaker , and Writer