Munduruku Statement for the Sake of Life


Update from Sr. Claudia Morais

Ministry with the Munduruku People,  Cururu Mission,  Para, Brazil

After having celebrated 100 years among the indigenous Munduruku people we can see a difference in the challenges of each period.  The first decades were marked with the very challenge of a first contact with the people: insecurity of not knowing their culture, language, the distances, difficult access, etc.  The following decades had  prime challenges of epidemic illnesses which killed many Indians leaving behind orphaned children who were welcomed and cared for by our Sisters and by the Franciscan friars.  After, came the struggle of the demarcation and regularization of their lands  demanding much courage of the missionaries to struggle together with the indigenous to win this battle. There also was the struggle to better the public health and education policies in the decade of the 90’s.  In all of these struggles and conquests our Sisters and the friars have been present and have given their lives day after day for the cause of the Munduruku people.

Actually, or better still, in the first decades of this new century, we have the great challenge to take on, together with this people, the guarantee of all the rights already won. But, we are in front of a great challenge that concerns us very much and threatens the future of the Munduruku people which are the large works projected by our federal Brazilian government to be constructed within or near their lands.

We feel impotent before this situation, as a the government goes above the rights of the indigenous and continues executing their projects of death, principally as it affects the poor.

Since 2009, we SMIC and the Friars began a work of awareness alerting the Munduruku people to the risks of accepting any agreement with the government.  As a way of greater commitment with this cause I took on, last year, a project which dealt with promoting the mobilization of the Munduruku to confront this struggle.  I participated in various activities such as assemblies and leadership meeting with the government and with various social movements and NGO groups.

Actually I continue to support the Munduruku in their struggle but I am no longer linked to the project because as a Franciscan I could not identify with their methodology of mobilization which worked also with violent means.  But I want to say that I did not leave the struggle of the Munduruku, only that of the project.

At this time we are three in the Cururu: a friar–Frei Ulysses Calvo and two Sisters – Sr. Conceição Rocha and myself. We try to be a presence of peace as our Father Francis.  We are attentive to accompany the events which involve the Munduruku and always try to counsel them to be people of peace and that even before conflict, struggles and confrontations to defend their land, their culture they should use non-violent means.

This is the reason why I no longer am part of the project referred to above.  The Munduruku people were being motivated to act with violence.  This made me ask to leave.  But I continue to support the Munduruku always as is possible.

We are also trying to form indigenous missionaries.  They are very enthusiastic with the idea of being missionaries.  This gives us much happiness as they are helping in the work of evangelizations.

To be a missionary among the Munduruku is more than a challenge, it is a privilege !



A  Centennial of Struggle for Human Rights

Celebrating with joy and hope the Centennial of the St. Francis Mission of the Cururu River, We the people of the Munduruku nation, coming from dozens of Mundurukan towns, captains, missionaries and  laity congregating in numbers of more than 100 persons during these festive days –we dMissao Cururuirect the following message to the Brazilian society and to all persons who defend life on the Planet Earth.


For hundreds of years we are living in the Amazon forest of the High Tapajos and its adjoin rivers in the southeast of Para, Brazil.  We consider the earth and water, the forest and the rivers as a source and sustenance of life in all of its dimensions.  Therefore we understand and respect nature as sacred and therefore as superior to us.


Lastly, we feel threatened by the projects promoted by a model of development which motivates the construction of hydroelectric, river transport and mining as well as the commerce that is called “carbon credits”.  This model of development is not only incompatible with our form of living but also causes serious and irreversible impact to our traditional peoples and to all the bio life of the Amazon.


On the other hand, we want a policy of economic development which truly benefits the inhabitants of the Earth and does not privilege only a minority.  Time urges strengthening ourselves to a union: the Munduruku people, indigenous people and all the people of good will to resist and in defense of life, of our culture, the earth and water with a view to the future of our sons and daughters and Planet Earth.


We live and work in the hope of 100 more years!

Topaga soat jeymubacan – For this, God will bless us all!