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Alter do Chão Indigenous Village

GENERAL OVERVIEW

Alter do Chão is located in an Environmental Preservation Area at the municipal level (APA). Within the legal provisions, this territory is recognised as an administrative district that is part of the municipality of Santarém. However, local indigenous populations, like the Borari ethnic group, declare that Alter do Chão is an indigenous village. In recent years, the territory has been recognised nationally and internationally for its richness and natural beauty, a factor that causes a great growth in tourism. Such growth has also influenced the number of inhabitants that are characterised among natives, people from other municipalities or states, in addition to foreigners.

CENTRAL TOPIC

The village of Alter do Chão has been going through a process of space dispute between the pressure of several economic interests and the struggle of the Borari indigenous people for the territory. Since 2003, Borari indigenous people have been fighting for the demarcation of their territory. However, private interests, such as tourism growth, real estate, land grabbing, factors that reflect an uneven and accelerated urbanisation, interfere in this demarcation process.

PERSONAL TESTIMONY

Vandria Borari

"Well there are a lot of land conflicts here. We have the Capadócia there, which is an area for our traditional use and occupation. This area is being the context of conflicts, because it is being illegally subdivided, so people no longer have their right of way, as before. This is reflected in their right to go and walk in this area without any impediment. And today it is an area that is a tourist attraction, because it is the igapó, igarapé area, the area of Savana as well, since there is a cerrado area within this biome. It is a rare area and there have been many cases of people being threatened by henchmen, by those who secure the house, even threatened with weapons.

Alter do Chão na voz da moradora e indígena Borari, Ianny Cristhian Vasconcelos Alves