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Posted on 29/6/13

The relationship between the Tupinambá and the media, has been permeated in many cases by hatred and prejudice. Local media calls the Tupinamba of a series of derogatory names as ‘alleged indigenous’, ‘snake eye’, ‘kidnappers’, ‘land thieves’, ‘bandits’, ‘gang brothers’ and many other names. They even are called by the name of the plague that swept through the area, dismantling the local economic system based on the big property. This way that the media treats the Tupinambá generates very serious problems for the relationship with the non-indigenous people in the region, feeding and spreading hatred and prejudice against indigenous people in the population. There are many reported cases of public persecution of indigenous people in schools, hospitals, public transport, etc. Another important focus of local media are the ‘retomadas'(retake): peaceful occupations of traditional indigenous territory are reported as violent acts committed by “savages”.



On several occasions the farmers call themselves “small farmers” in the media and instances of institutional power as a way to legitimize their permanence in indigenous lands. Many of the true family farmers are salaried employees or sharecroppers of large owners, and are placed on the front line of a conflict created by the farmers themselves.

On the other hand, the great national communication channels, in most cases, choose to simply not to mention the indigenous issue, the major television networks and newspaper publishers in Brazil treats the indigenous as if they were invisible. And when there is some kind of more intense movement, making it impossible to simply not to mention the case, the natives are placed as violent and uncontrolled people, or their claims are despised and perceived as barriers to the nation’s economic development.

Below is an example of how the local media portrays the Tupinambá:


The alleged indigenous Babau and his family, accused of practicing many crimes in the region, including theft, invasions, kidnappings, are loose and ready to strike again small farmers.



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