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4236 - Suicide and Homicide: Violent Encounters among the Indigenous Youth of Dourados` Reservation, Brazil.

This paper is the result of 10 years of research on the problem of suicide at the Dourados Reservation in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. As the second most crowded reservation in the country (15.000 inhabitants), Dourades also shows some of the most violent interactions, including suicide and homicide, particularly among the youth who number around 4000. The reservation lacks basic sanitation, social infrastructures, and offers little by way of jobs or other economic opportunities. The primary means of subsistence for the youth are limited going to work in external sugar plantations or became a “mula” for the drug trade. The structural violence of the relations between the marginalized indigenous youth, the politics of indiginiety, and the external economies consistently reinforces the limiting economic and social conditions. This situation is correlated with increasing episodes of violence within the camp, both in the rising rates of suicide and of intra-group violence and homicide. The most important question now is to try to understand the intra-group violence which is rising to higher levels than the suicide rates. In this paper, I give voice to the youth of Dourados, especially how they conceptualize violence and their attitudes and responses to the increasing amount of violence in their lives. I particularly focus on how this violence has affected their social and economic decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keywords: violence, youth indigenous, social trauma.

Author: alcantara, maria (university of Sao Paulo, Brazil / Brasilien)

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