A Military Police helicopter flew over the devastated landscape, raising dust and fanning the fire that burned on the grass below. Secretary of Justice and Public Security of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul Antônio Carlos Videira was on board. From the sky, he oversaw the action of about 70 riot policemen whose mission was to expel the Indians from the farmhouse of the Santa Maria Farm. The property is located next to the Guarani and Kaiowá community in Guapo’y, in the municipality of Caarapó. Black smoke covered part of the horizon.
The police traveled over 300-km in a couple of hours in response to alleged theft of swine and appliances. According to them, the riot unit had been called by farm workers who were under “unlawful imprisonment” inside the farmhouse and surrounded by the Indians who stole animals and objects.
The operation took place on August 26 and ended with five Indians hit by rubber bullets, a 69-year-old Kaiowá man arrested, and a woman run over by a police car with her daughter on her lap. An agent of the Special Department for Indigenous Health (Sesai) who declined to provide his name for fear of reprisals said: “When I found her, she could barely walk because the car had passed over her leg and her spine”. In 2016, one of his co-workers who was also an Indian was murdered in the case known as the Caarapó massacre, which has already led to the conviction of local ranchers.