A contingent of Brazilian Federal Police fired shots at the Indian residents of a community in the northeastern state of Bahia, the Catholic Church's Indigenous Missionary Council, or CIMI, said Wednesday.
The violence took place after a protest by members of the Tupinamba tribe against the installation of a Federal Police outpost on the Sempre Vinca plantation, land that the Indians claim as their own, a CIMI spokesperson told Efe.
Brazil's Indian affairs agency, FUNAI, said in 2009 that the site of the prospective police base is "traditional indigenous territory."
But FUNAI has yet to officially demarcate the extent of the Tupinamba lands, which means the tribe cannot secure official recognition of its rights over the territory, CIMI said in a statement.
The violence at Sempre Vinca, which began after midnight Tuesday, represents "the return of the dictatorship in Brazil," the principal of the local Indian school, Magnolia Jesus da Silva, told Efe.
"Twenty-five men fired their guns and hurled grenades until 4:00 in the morning," she said. "Today, 60 more police are arriving to continue with the massacre." EFE