The smoke rose up, 'til in the sky it stopped, and with it, Galdino
He introduced himself to God,
Saying Lord my God, to the land that left me came the cowards
that threw me off.
When I went to react, I was touched by fire, in the country's capital
my body went up in flames.
It's fire, it's suicide, illness, poverty, sorrow,
Pataxó, Maxacali, Ianomâmi, Kaiowá,
Ticuna, Guajajara, Guarani, Xacriabá(2) .
Not one escapes the saga,
Of the evil-doers down on earth,
Our people are peaceful,
We want to hear of war no more.
Help, Lord my God,
The Indians left down there
Help, help I pray.
If things get no better
At the turn of the millennium
No Indians will be left.
The smoke rose up, 'til in the sky it stoppedÖ
And with it GaldinoÖ
1 Editor's note: Galdino Jesus dos Santos, 44 years old, of the
indigenous tribe Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hã, was a
counselor in his community, located in the south of Bahia. He arrived in
Brasília with a delegation of more than eight leaders of his people, on
April 17, 1997, for a series of meetings relating to the ownership rights of a
property with an area of five farms located on native lands. In the early hours
of April 20, 1997, Galdino was sleeping at a bus-stop in W-3 south, when he woke
up on fire. Five young men of the upper middle-class, aged 17 to 19, had doused
him with two litres of inflammable alcohol for the 'joke' of setting fire to his
clothes. With burns on 95% of his body, he died the next day. The result of the
trial - the jury's conviction of the defendants for homicide for base motives
and cruelty to a defenceless victim - was seen by the Indigenous Missionary
Council as a recovery of hope and a discouragement to impunity.
2 Editor's note: Pataxó, Maxacali, Ianomâmi,
Kaiowá, Ticuna, Guajajara, Guarani and Xacriabá are native peoples
who inhabited Brazil and neighbouring countries.