Suicide Epidemic Plagues Indigenous In Brazil
The Brazilian indigenous Guarani nation has had their land taken away and way of life threatened - now a new study shows the suicide rate is 34 times higher than the national average.
To mark World Mental Health Day earlier this month, the human rights organization Survival International has presented new, shocking figures on the suicide epidemic striking Brazil’s indigenous Guarani people.
The Guarani nation, which numbers more than 46,000, has suicide rates no less than 34 times higher than their country's national average, and as Britain’s Guardian newspaper observed in a special report, the death rate in the Dourados camp housing one Guarani community is 50% higher than in Iraq.
Why? The Guarani have lost the greater part of the ancestral lands with which they have a deep spiritual connection because of the invasion of ranchers and sugar cane plantations. The natives are pushed into living on the roadside or are confined to reservations. They face malnutrition, precarious health and alcoholism.
Those communities that try and return to their lands face extreme violence at the hands of gunmen hired by ranchers to attack and often kill the Guarani.