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五毛网 外媒看中国 2016年09月08日 来源:五毛网

Afro-Brazilians Demand Slavery Reparations Because ‘Poverty Has A Color’



This article is the second in a two-part series about Brazil’s quilombo movement. Read the first part here.


Almir Viera Pereira holds a handful of dry soil on a patch of disputed land his group has claimed under Brazil’s constitutional right to reparations for descendants of runaway slaves. (Carolina Ramirez/The Huffington Post)

Almir Viera Pereira抓着一把干燥的泥土,根据巴西宪法这片土地属于他这种逃奴的后裔。

The dry grass crackled under Almir Vieira Pereira’s shoes as he walked along the edges of the roça, a small patch of land he’s been fighting to plant on for years. He grabbed a handful of soil and watched it puff into a smoky cloud as it settled back to the ground.

Almir Viera Pereira踩着田埂上干硬的枯草,为了在这一小片土地上耕作他已经奋斗了很多年,他抓起一把沙土,看着风把它从手中吹散,归于大地。

Brazil’s northeastern backlands are known for their dryness. Perennial droughts have sent generations of northeasterners fleeing from impoverished farming towns like this one for the industrial cities of the South — São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte. Barra do Parateca’s soil had yet to recover from last year’s lack of rain.

巴西东北部的内陆地区因为干旱而著称,可以一连持续数年的干旱使得几代当地人逐渐迁徙到南方的工业城市,如圣保罗、里约热内卢、贝洛哈里桑塔,在那里的土地上休养生息,Barra do Parateca村则正在从去年的干旱中逐渐恢复。

But dry or not, the ability to walk freely across this field marked a major victory for Pereira. He and a group of slave descendants from the roughly 1,500-person hamlet of Barra do Parateca have spent the last five years invading chunks of land across the area that they say are rightfully theirs under a well-known but haphazardly enforced article of the Brazilian Constitution. That law guarantees permanent, non-transferable land titles to Brazilians descended from the members of runaway slave settlements. Such communities of descendants are known in Brazil as “quilombos.”

但是就算这样干旱,能够在这片土地上自由行走对于Pereira来说也已经是巨大的胜利了。在过去的五年里,大约由1500人组成的小村庄Barra do Parateca中的这些奴隶的后裔们一直在为了占据这片根据巴西宪法属于他们的土地而努力,尽管这部分法令广为人知,却基本没有得到实施。法律给予那些曾经的逃亡奴隶的后裔“永远且不可变更”的土地所有权,而这些人在巴西组成的社群叫做“歌伦波”。

Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country and relatively underpopulated, but land ownership remains out of reach most of the nation’s poor farmers, many of whose ancestors worked the fields for European overlords. The ability to plant one’s own food marks the first step for people like Pereira in a long march out of poverty and toward independence.


“Our fight for land is all about producing food,” Pereira, 39, said. “The great thinkers of the world, they’re thinking about creating things, inventing things. We’re still thinking about eating. If the government really wants racial reparations, they have to at least give us the possibility to think like equals.”


Four years ago, anyone who looked across this 15-acre plot would have seen razed earth littered with broken ceramic tiles that had once served as the roof of a camp shelter. The cops had wiped out that settlement after the neighbors who owned the land, the Pereira Pinto family, failed to persuade Pereira and his fellow quilombo residents to vacate the premises.

四年前,任何来到这片15亩土地的人都只能看到一片残砖破瓦,因为警察在当时的地主Pereira Pinto家族的要求下夷平了Pereira和他的“歌伦波”同伴们建起来的窝棚。

Pereira and his group had had several run-ins with authorities before, but this time was different. Normally, they would be allowed to finish the harvest if they agreed to abandon the plot when they were done. This time, police destroyed the crops in front of a crowd of Barra residents.


“Everyone was crying and we couldn’t do anything,” Pereira’s friend, Ducilene Magalhães, recalled. “We just watched.”

“所有人都在无助地哭泣,”Pereira的朋友Ducilene Magalhães说,“然而我们只能这样看着。”

These days, Pereira and Magalhães have arrived at an uneasy truce with the landowners. Though the owners are in the midst of pursuing legal action and have removed an irrigation system that once watered the field, they’re also reluctantly allowing the quilombo members to harvest crops on a small patch of the property until the courts settle the dispute.


Although quilombos dotted the Brazilian landscape throughout the era of slavery, which lasted from the 1500s until 1889, they faded into history during the 20th century. Most of the legislators who approved the quilombo law, ratified in 1988 as part of the new Brazilian Constitution, viewed it as a symbolic gesture that would affect only a handful of families.


But in 2003, a decree by left-wing President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva made it possible for virtually any black community to apply for quilombo status, if a majority of its residents so decided.


Since Lula’s order, the number of certified quilombos has skyrocketed from fewer than three dozen to more than 2,400, with hundreds more in the process of applying for recognition. In total, more than 1 million Brazilians are demanding their constitutional right to land in what may become the largest slavery reparations program ever attempted.


In practice, however, the program remains a dead letter for many. Despite a constitutional guarantee and the lip service of almost 12 years of continuous Worker Party-led government, only 217 quilombos have received official land titles as of this year.


Impatient with the slow hand of Brazilian bureacracy, quilombos across the country like Barra do Parateca are invading the promised parcels of land, sometimes igniting violent conflicts with their wealthier neighbors in the process.

而像Barra do Parateca村的这些对政府官僚失去耐心了的人,就开始主动“入侵”这些应许给他们的土地,在这个过程中和他们富有的邻居甚至发生了暴力冲突。

This photo, taken July 5, 2010, shows the ruins of the quilombo association’s makeshift shelter, which the police destroyed weeks before. (Roque Planas/The Huffington Post)


Few who walk the lone paved street of the town of Barra do Parateca would imagine that Brazil boasts the world’s seventh-largest economy.

在Barra do Parateca的小道上行走的人可以想象这些年来巴西是如何膨胀到世界第七大经济体的。

Lying off the banks of the São Francisco river, about 400 miles into the rain-starved interior of the state of Bahia, Barra do Parateca is reachable only by boat or by a bumpy ride along a dirt road. Braying donkeys wander freely, feeding on discarded cartons, plastic soda bottles and spoiled food that lies in piles on the ground because the town lacks regular trash collection.

在圣佛朗西斯科河河岸上,深入干旱的巴伊亚省中心600多公里,你只能通过小船和一条颠簸的土路到达Barra do Parateca,南美野驴在路上乱跑,以破烂的纸板箱,塑料可乐瓶和地上的食物残渣为食,因为这个村庄并没有什么垃圾处理设施。

The garbage embarrasses Pereira. An evangelical pastor, he’s thrown himself into building Barra do Parateca’s quilombo with the civic-minded, can-do attitude of a budding politician. (He did, in fact, run for local office recently and lost to a white man, which he said was a bitter experience for an Afro-Brazilian running in a majority-black district.) He wears pressed pants and button-down shirts, drinks soda instead of beer and wants future generations of Barra do Parateca’s students to speak grammatically correct Portuguese, rather than the local dialects that often disregard subject-verb agreement.

福音派牧师Pereira站在这些垃圾中,他是抱着热心公益,开拓进取的念头开始参加当地竞选的。(事实上他刚刚在竞选中输给了一个白人,而他并不是很能接受作为一个非裔巴西人在一个大部分是黑人的地区输掉这一点。)他穿着紧身裤和带袖扣的衬衫,喝的是可乐而不是啤酒,希望Barra do Parateca的下一代能说语法正确的葡萄牙语,而不是现在这样缺少主语的土话。

But building a better Barra is a job that would try the patience of even the most progressive-minded idealist. While the boost in social spending during Brazil’s past decade has helped alleviate the worst of the poverty, few people in town own land or any other productive enterprise that could lift Barra do Parateca into prosperity. Those who do have no intention of handing it over to people like Pereira.

但是建设一个更好的村庄对于这些激进人士来说也是需要耐心的。在过去的十年里巴西大幅增加公共开支缓解了赤贫地区的状况,少部分有土地和生产资料的人可以从中获益,并且让Barra do Parateca变得繁荣么?他们显然并不想让Pereira这样的人也从中沾光。

Facing a life of toiling in someone else’s field for a pittance or waiting to cash government social assistance checks, many residents instead choose to leave. In search of work, they head to cities like São Paulo, a metropolis of 20 million located 850 miles to the south.


Most of them wind up in “favelas,” the violence-plagued slums that ring Brazil’s cities. Others migrate to the interior of São Paulo state to pick oranges or cut sugar cane. In a town of roughly 1,500 residents, some 30 of Barra do Parateca’s men left to work in São Paulo last year, all of them fathers, Pereira says. Another 15 told him of plans to leave this year.

他们中的大多数进入了贫民窟,那是在巴西的城市中治安最混乱的地方,其余一些进入了圣保罗州的内地,在那里采摘柑橘和割甘蔗,在圣保罗一个有1500人的镇子里就有30个来自Barra do Parateca的男人,据Pereira说都是有家室的人,还有十五个这样的人告诉过他想追随他们的脚步。

Despite the hardship, Pereira doesn’t want to leave the place where he was born. He wants Barra do Parateca to break out of its rut. And he sees land ownership, and the independence that comes with it, as the key.

尽管生活这样艰难,Pereira仍然不愿意离开这个他出身个地方,他希望Barra do Parateca能发生改变,而且是从他们获得土地,得到独立开始。

By “land,” he’s quick to clarify, he means real land — not the tiny patch that his neighbors begrudgingly let his quilombo use now. With land, Pereira says, he and his fellowquilombolas could produce their own food, with a little left over for sale in local markets.


“We don’t want to keep depending on the government,” Pereira said. “In Brazil, without land, you’re no one.”

“我们并不想依赖政府,” Pereira说。“在巴西,只有有了土地,你才是个人。”

A donkey feeds on garbage tossed along the roads of Barra do Parateca, which lacks regular trash collection. (Carolina Ramirez/The Huffington Post)

一头驴在Barra do Parateca的垃圾堆中觅食。

Brazil is among the world’s most violent countries, with a homicide rate of 25 per 100,000 residents as of 2012.


A government report released last year suggested the persistent killings stem from a “culture of violence” fed by murderous conflicts between the drug cartels and other criminal gangs that have thrived in the cities’ favelas. In the northern city of Maceió, the homicide rate in 2011 stood at a whopping 111 per 100,000, according to the report.


But Brazil’s overflowing favelas are a symptom of larger problems that originate in places like Barra do Parateca, where waves of impoverished farmers, many if not most of them descended from slaves, have fled the countryside over the past half century. In 1950, the Brazilian census placed the urban population at 31 percent. As of 2013, that figure hasclimbed to 85 percent.

然而巴西贫民窟的扩张的背后有一个更严重的问题,就是从Barra do Parateca这样的村庄流出大量的贫困人口,他们基本都是黑奴的后裔,迁徙到了城市中。在1950年根据巴西的人口普查,城市率是31%,而在2013年,这个数字暴增到了85%。

Land is the one major factor that pushes Brazilians to leave the countryside and crowd into the packed cities. Like in Barra do Parateca, land is all but unobtainable with the wages most Brazilian farm workers make.

土地问题是让这些人背井离乡,挤入城市的主要原因。像Barra do Parateca那样,大部分的巴西农民根本得不到自己的土地。

“The highly unequal distribution of land in Brazil is clearly an important reason that Brazil’s cities have grown in such a rapid, unequal and violent way,” Sean Mitchell, an anthropology professor at Rutgers University who studies quilombos, wrote in an email to HuffPost. While Mitchell thinks it would be “impossible to roll back the haphazard and violent growth of Brazil’s cities through reforms in the countryside,” he added that “land reform would significantly alleviate violence in the countryside.”

“巴西城市凶暴而迅速的扩张造成了严重的土地兼并问题,”罗格斯大学研究“歌伦波”的人类学教授Sean Mitchell在给我们的一封邮件中这样说。他认为这种城市扩张带来的危险和暴力是无法通过农村土地改革避免的,但是他还说了这样一句话“然而土地改革却可以有效减少农村的暴力问题。”

Land seemed an impossible dream for Pereira until 2005, when he helped found a local organization dedicated to addressing racial inequality. While working with the group, he learned about the Brazilian Constitution’s quilombo clause: that communities descended from runaway slaves were entitled to own the land they lived on. All he had to do to gain access to the land was form an official association, collect signatures from a majority of the town’s residents and take them to the country’s capital, Brasília, to apply.


Pereira searched Barra do Parateca’s history for evidence of its origins as a quilombo. Very little has been written about the tiny town, but he managed to find an account by a priest, published in 1991, that described the area’s origins as a “fazenda,” or ranch, owned by a Portuguese family during the colonial period. According to the document, the family raised sugar cane and herded cattle using slave labor.

Pereira查阅了Barra do Parateca的历史,想要找到使他们成为“歌伦波”的证据,虽然这个小镇的历史就那么一点,他还是从1991年一个牧师留下的记录中找到了这个地方的起源,殖民时期这里是一个庄园,属于一个葡萄牙人家庭,他们在这里种植甘蔗和放牛,使用黑奴作为劳动力。

“Those were my ancestors,” Pereira said. “It was from that moment that we began to identify, we began to understand our origins.”

“那就是我的祖先,” Pereira说,“那时候我们才觉悟了,我们开始寻找自己的根。”

He gathered signatures from more than half the town’s residents and took the day-long bus ride to Brasilia to drop off the paperwork. The town became a certified quilombo in January 2006, and along with its status came a new school and health clinic.


But quilombo certification only extends to the town itself. The coveted farmlands that surround Barra do Parateca remain the private property of assorted ranchers and farmers.

但是这个认证只停留在纸面上,他们所垂涎的环绕在Barra do Parateca四周的土地属于私人,都是各种农场主和牧场主。

And eight years after certification, the government has yet to publish the legally required technical study documenting Barra do Parateca’s land claim, let alone negotiate indemnization with all the current landowners or transfer a title to Pereira and his community.


Representatives from the Institute of Colonization and Land Reform, or INCRA, which carries out the titling process, say they’re overburdened by the massive number of claims, which as of this year have reached 569 in the state of Bahia alone, according to federal government figures.


Although the constitution guarantees quilombos’ property rights, INCRA can’t simply take chunks of land and hand them to new owners. Instead, it must compensate the titleholders, who generally resist the agency’s attempts to take over their property, leading to lengthy legal disputes.


“We can’t expropriate land — we also have to indemnify,” Itamar Rangel at the INCRA’s office in Salvador da Bahia told HuffPost. “Brazilian law defends the property rights of any citizen.”

“我们没有权利直接征收土地,我们当然得对他们进行赔偿,” Itamar Rangel在巴伊亚省萨尔瓦多市的INCRA办公室里对我们说。“巴西法律当然要维护个人的物权。”

That lack of efficiency isn’t unique to the state of Bahia. INCRA estimates the total amount of land currently claimed by quilombos in Brazil to be around 4.4 million acres — an area roughly the size of New Jersey.



But the government has issued just 217 land titles as of this year, having granted only three last year and three in 2012. At this rate, the growing backlog that now stands at roughly 2,200 quilombos won’t be getting cleared any time soon.


In 2007, frustrated with the pace of Brazilian bureaucracy, Barra do Parateca’s quilombo association stopped waiting and started planting. They planted along the river banks. They planted on land just outside the town. They rode boats up the river and walked into the forest to plant in isolated fields, setting up campsites along the way. Today, when the quilombo residents are able to harvest those crops, it helps supplement their modestly stocked pantries and refrigerators.

在2007年,无法忍受巴西官僚的磨洋工的Barra do Parateca人决定团结起来,放弃等待。他们开始在河岸上耕作,就在镇子外面耕作,他们乘船进入森林开辟小块耕地,沿路建立定居点。现在这些作物可以收获了,填满了他们的储藏室和冰箱。

The landowners usually fight back. As often as not, landowners find the clandestine fields and let cattle loose to feed on the crops before they’re harvested.


About a dozen landowners from Barra do Parateca are battling the quilombo association’s claims. Of all those fights, none is more tense than the one involving the Pinto family.


Hélio Pereira Pinto, 71, isn’t the kind of person you’d imagine as one of the quilombo’s biggest enemies. An aging man whose thick, sun-battered skin folds neatly along his cheeks, Pinto walks with a limp, the result of his father’s inability to pay for a doctor when Pinto developed a benign tumor in his left knee at age 10.

“歌伦波”的头号敌人Hélio Pereira Pinto今年已经71岁了,然而他面颊上厚厚的饱经日晒的皮肤还蛮紧致。Pinto只有一条腿,因为在他十岁的时候他的父亲付不起为他做骨肉瘤手术的钱。

Although the tumor splintered his tibia, forcing shards of bone through his skin, he spent his life working as a field hand, one of the most backbreaking and poorly paid jobs Brazil has to offer. He still has scars under his arm from the years he worked in the fields while supporting himself with a crutch. He remembers listening to radio broadcasts from Cuba’s Communist government in the 1960s, hoping that a similar revolution would make its way to Brazil. But his experiences in recent years have tempered his revolutionary enthusiasm. 


Pinto owns the piece of land where Pereira and his fellow quilombolas have arrived at their uneasy truce. His son João Batista Pinto — a judge in the neighboring city of Guanambi who is entangled in a separate land dispute with the quilombo — has repeatedly called the cops to kick them out.

在Pereira和他的“歌伦波”人终于得到承认之后,他们恰好就站在了Pinto的土地上面。他的儿子João Batista Pinto在旁边的城市瓜南比担任法官,在一场“歌伦波”的土地争夺案件中,他的决定是让警察把他们都赶走。

After the police destroyed the quilombo association’s illicit crops in 2010, someone set a bus belonging to Hélio Pinto on fire. The Pinto family suspects retribution, but no one has owned up to the deed. Four years later, the bus’s charred remains still sit on the town’s main road, now engulfed by a tree that has grown around it.


Land holds much the same meaning for Hélio Pinto, who is white, as it does for Pereira. The oldest of 18 children, Pinto was born less than two miles from Barra do Parateca, where his landless family lived on the property of a wealthier man named Antonio Bastos. Pinto’s family worked as “agregados,” meaning they were allowed to live on the land and use a chunk of it to grow their own food, in exchange for their labor. Some experts have described the relationship, common in the Brazilian countryside, as something better than slavery, but not quite freedom.

对于Hélio Pinto来说土地的意义也是很重要的,虽然他和Pereira不一样,他是个白人,是十八个兄弟姐妹里的老大。Pinto出生的地方离Barra do Parateca有3公里,那时他全家都住在一个更有钱的叫做Antonio Bastos的人的土地上,他们当时是佃农,就是说他们自己的土地上耕作,而只有一部分农作物属于他们自己,根据研究,在巴西的农村这种生产关系是更普遍的,它比奴隶制更好,尽管也剥夺了一部分人的自由。

One day, for reasons unclear to Pinto, Bastos kicked the family out, along with his other agregados. Pinto’s father found new work as an agregado on a ranch in what would become Barra do Parateca. This was in the early 1950s, and Barra wasn’t yet a town — just another tract of land owned by a wealthy ranching family. After decades of working the fields, Pinto scraped together enough money to buy the small patch of land that the quilombo association now disputes.

终于有一天不知为了什么原因,Bastos把他们和其他佃农一起踢出了那片土地,于是Pinto的父亲来到了Barra do Parateca继续当佃农,那是1950年代早期,当时这里并不能被称作是一个镇,而只是一个大牧场主拥有的一片土地。经过几十年的耕作,Pinto家族攒够了足够的钱买下了这片不大的土地,正是“歌伦波”想要得到的这一块。

The fighting has grown so frustrating for João Batista Pinto, Hélio’s son, that he doesn’t even want his parcel of land anymore. As a lawyer in the neighboring city of Guanambi, he now has little use for it, and the bad blood created by the land conflicts makes him feel uncomfortable visiting the town of his birth. He would gladly give it up, he says, if only someone would pay him for it.

对于Pinto的儿子João Batista Pinto来说这场冲突已经让他受够了,他也在瓜南比担任律师,他甚至想到要放弃。土地冲突中那些人的恶意让他甚至不想回到这个他出生的小镇,如果有人想买,他会很干脆地把这片土地卖掉。

It’s not the first time someone has tried to take over João Batista Pinto’s small patch of land. In the 1970s, when Brazil was under military rule, the Bahian government unsuccessfully tried to relocate the town to accommodate a dam project. The INCRA expropriated a series of tracts in the area, including João Batista’s. So the land, in theory, belongs to the government — except that, as often happens with Brazil’s slow-moving bureaucracy, INCRA never paid him for it.

这不是第一次有人想获取这片土地了,在军政府执政的1970年代,巴伊亚省政府就想为了一个水坝工程把这个镇迁走。INCRA征收了一部分土地,包括属于João Batista的那部分。所以说理论上这片土地是属于政府的,但是就像经常发生的那样,由于巴西官僚地低效率,INCRA到现在也没有付过钱。

“This case has been pending ever since then, until the present day,” João Batista said. “Without payment, without indemnization. This happens all over the place in Brazil.”

“从那时起这个计划就被搁置,直到今天,” João Batista Pinto说。“没有拨款也没有赔偿,在巴西其实这种状况很普遍。”

Still, Hélio Pinto has trouble understanding how Barra do Parateca could possibly be a quilombo. As one of the few residents who’s lived in the town since its establishment, he knows that the original inhabitants were, like him, virtually all white. Now, he says, the peaceful community he once knew has been torn apart, and the land he labored for has been made worthless by the political aspirations of black people from neighboring towns.

现在Hélio Pinto仍然对于Barra do Parateca变成了一个“歌伦波”感到迷惑不解。作为从这个镇建立以来就住在这里的少数元老之一,他知道这里的第一批居民基本都是白人。他说这片土地上的宁静已经被这些从附近涌来的黑人邻居打破了。

“There was never any quilombo here. There were never any slaves,” Pinto said. “Today most people here are black, there’s no white people anymore. But the blacks are all migrants. None of them are really from here.”


The main street of the town of Barra do Parateca, Brazil. (Carolina Ramirez/The Huffington Post)

Barra do Parateca的主干道

Many in the Brazilian media share the Pintos’ suspicions about the authenticity of today’s quilombos. Television coverage often tilts more toward his point of view than Pereira’s.


One of the most famous cases occurred in 2007, when Brazil’s largest television news broadcaster, O Globo, visited the quilombo of São Francisco do Paraguaçú in the northern part of the country. O Globo’s reporters asked residents if they considered themselves quilombolas. Several people said no. One man said he’d never heard of the term until recent years. Another said he’d never heard the term at all.

在2007年就发生了这么一个著名事件,巴西最大的电视新闻台O Globo采访了圣佛兰西斯科和帕拉瓜的“歌伦波”。记者访问当地居民时问他们是否认为自己是“歌伦波”人,有几个人给予了否定回答,有人说直到近几年才听说这个说法,甚至有人根本对此闻所未闻。

In the final version of the story, the producers did not air the comments of the quilombo association’s leaders or the interviewees who affirmed the existence of their quilombo. The story erroneously claimed that the area was not a historical site of slavery and that sugar had not been planted in the region when, in fact, the ruins of a colonial-era sugar mill lay just a short distance upriver.


The report sparked protests in the community and deepened a rift that pitted neighbor against neighbor, with some residents posting signs in front of their doors reading “I’m not a quilombola, no.” The federal government re-evaluated the community’s anthropological report, but it eventually chose to uphold the group’s quilombo certification.


Despite the support of the government, episodes like this have undermined the public image of the fledgling social movement. Politicians who would go on to form Democráticos 25, a conservative, pro-market political party, hoped to take advantage of public doubts about quilombos’ credibility. They filed a legal challenge in 2004, arguing that Lula da Silva’s decree allowing virtually any group of black people to declare themselves a quilombo illegally skirted Congress’ authority.


By 2010, the case had made its way to Brazil’s highest court, which has yet to rule on it. A decision in Democráticos 25’s favor could annul all the land titles issued under the law and strip thousands of communities of their quilombo status overnight.


Pereira doesn’t dispute that Barra do Parateca was once a largely white community. He acknowledges that most of the town’s black residents first arrived about four decades ago — including his mother, who was born in a town on the other side of the river.

Pereira并不否认Barra do Parateca从前曾经全是白人,他认为黑人们是在40多年前就来到了这里,其中就有在河岸另一边的镇上出生的他的母亲。

But he also takes a wider view of his community’s history. According to the priest’s 1991 account, before the town existed, the area of Barra do Parateca belonged to one large Portuguese landowner whose massive holdings stretched across the hinterland. That man’s claim encompassed a number of neighboring majority-black towns, including the first certified quilombo in the state of Bahia, Rio das Rãs.

但是他把目光放远的时候,发现在那个牧师在1991年留下的记录中写到,在Barra do Parateca建立之前,这里属于一个更大的葡萄牙地主,几乎拥有这整片荒凉的地区,在这之上发展起了好几个由黑人组成的镇子,其中就包括巴伊亚省第一个承认的“歌伦波”,Rio das Rãs。

“Before the community, before the town, it was a fazenda,” Pereira said. “So all of this black population here in the Parateca region — Pau D’Arco, Barra do Parateca — in reality, we’re all the same people.”

“在这里住上人,形成村镇之前,这里全是农场,”Pereira说,“所以整个Parateca地区,不管是Pau D’Arco还是 Barra do Parateca,事实上,全都属于我们。”

And anyway, all of this is beside the point, as far as Pereira is concerned. Fighting over these chunks of land for the last few years has made him rethink not just poverty, but race as well.


“Slavery was abolished,” Pereira said. “But the black people around here — my ancestors — never had a single title. Abolition happened, but we’re practically continuing as if we were slaves today. How come we don’t get the right to reparations?”


The charred remains of a bus set ablaze in 2010 remain standing on the main street of Barra do Parateca, Brazil. (Carolina Ramirez/The Huffington Post)


Brazilians’ disagreement over how to define a quilombo stems in part from thecountry’s historic reluctance to define who is black. People either partially or wholly of African descent make up a majority of the population, but unlike in the United States, Brazil never saw widespread legal segregation, and racial mixing has been common since the colonial period.


That legacy has made it difficult for Brazilians to build political movements devoted to confronting racism. Many Brazilians view their country as a “racial democracy,” where the lack of strict distinctions between “black” and “white” has fostered an ethnically harmonious society.


Yet Afro-Brazilian intellectuals and the country’s social scientists have long dismissed that interpretation, pointing to research and statistics that they say reveal broad patterns of discrimination.


As of 2011, Brazilian black and mixed-race workers on average earned only 60 percent of the salaries of white workers, according to the country’s national statistics agency. Some70 percent of homicide victims are black, according to a 2013 study by the Institute of Applied Economic Research. Researchers at the Federal University of Rio de Janeirocalculated last year that if the Brazilian population were divided along racial lines, whites would occupy the 65th position on the U.N. Human Development Index, while Afro-Brazilians would only reach 102nd place.


Given the expansiveness of Brazil’s legal definition of “quilombos,” it’s hard to mount an argument that Barra do Parateca does not qualify. More than half of the Barra do Parateca community signed the petition to declare its ethnic quilombo identity, as required. A social scientist visited the town and verified the claim.

“歌伦波”的定义是很宽泛的,很难确定Barra do Parateca到底合不合格,这里的居民有一半签了字支持这个申请,于是一个社会学家到这里来考察他们说词的真实性。

The lawsuits filed against the quilombo’s land invasions would, theoretically, be trumped by a decision by INCRA to compensate the current landowners accordingly and seize the property on behalf of the quilombo.


But INCRA’s officials, 500 miles away in a building with a leaky ceiling, have yet to finalize the paperwork, let alone issue a land title. They’re responsible for the nearly 600 quilombo claims across Bahia, some of which face crises more serious than Barra do Parateca’s.

但是在800公里之外的一座有镂空天花板的建筑里,纸面上的工作仍然没有完成,更不要说土地产权的问题。在巴伊亚省他们就要面对接近600个“歌伦波”的问题,其中一些面临的问题比Barra do Parateca的更严重。

Nevertheless, the lack of progress infuriates the already frustrated quilombo association. When asked who the quilombo movement’s greatest enemy is, Pereira didn’t mention the landowners. Instead, he began talking about the government, which catapulted the movement into existence in 1988, then let it founder, leaving quilombo residents to wonder whether the constitutional article will wither into a broken promise.


“The greatest enemy of the quilombo movement is the Brazilian state itself,” Pereira said. “The slowness.”


Almir Viera Pereira seated in his mother’s kitchen in the town of Barra do Parateca, Brazil. (Carolina Ramirez/The Huffington Post)

João Batista Pinto’s anger at the quilombo association is no longer what it was four years ago, when he sent the cops to break up its occupation of his land. He’s now resigned to put up with the irritation of the land dispute while the courts and INCRA slowly sort the mess out.

João Batista Pinto对于“歌伦波”组织的愤怒已经不像四年前他把警察送去逮捕那些占领他土地的人时那么强烈了。他现在已经退休了,旁观着这场连法院和INCRA都纠缠其中的纠纷。

But like his father, he harbors resentment, and finds it laughable to think Barra do Parateca could be classified as a quilombo.

像他的父亲一样,他不再在乎憎恨,把Barra do Parateca的“歌伦波”运动只看成一件好笑的事。

“It’s an old concept,” João Batista said. “To apply it to the contemporary world is difficult. They’re trying to apply that article in order to gain social benefits, but they’re doing it fraudulently.”


Recalling the old problem of how to define who is black in Brazil, João Batista pointed out that his sister Heldina looks white, and then asked rhetorically if he himself looks black. With his dark bronze skin and coarse straight hair, he could belong to any number of Brazil’s intermingling ethnic combinations. In the United States, no one would call him white. João Batista added that he and his family come from Barra do Parateca. Does that make them quilombolas?

回到那个“什么样的人是真正的黑人”的老问题上,Pinto说他的妹妹Heldina看起来完全是白人,然后问我们觉得他自己看起来像不像黑人,从他深棕色的皮肤和蓬松的直发看来,他可能属于巴西任何一个混血种族之一。在美国没有人会说他是白人。他还说:“我和我的家族也是在Barra do Parateca出生的,我们也应该是‘歌伦波’的一分子咯。”

“It’s not enough just to demonstrate the presence of a black population, because if that were all you needed, Salvador da Bahia would be a quilombo,” he said. “Bom Jesús da Lapa, Rio de Janeiro, all the other states. Brazil would be one giant quilombo.”


In the meantime, Barra do Parateca waits, and Pereira enjoys his early morning walk around the roça while a friend hacks at weeds with a machete. The soil might be more moist if Hélio Pinto hadn’t taken down the irrigation system he installed years ago. On the other hand, the cops haven’t come this year to kick the quilombo out and destroy the small patch of plantings on the Pinto family’s 15-acre plot.

视线转向Pereira,他正在田里享受着早上的散步,一个朋友正在用弯刀除去野草,如果几年前Hélio Pinto没有毁掉他的灌溉设施,这土地本来应该更湿润一些。从另一个角度来说,今年警察并没有像往常一样来把这片属于Pinto的十五亩土地上的“歌伦波”铲平。

In his mother’s kitchen, Pereira sits down to eat a cut of gristly beef with a side of rice, black beans and farofa, a yucca flour that Brazilians sprinkle on their food to add flavor and make it more filling. For Pereira, few things reveal more about Brazil’s race relations than his meals.


“This is the way I see it, the world is what you’re thinking about,” said Pereira. “If you’re hungry, what are you going to think about? About food. So most of the world’s poor only think about food. They go to school and they’re thinking about snack time, about lunch, because those who are hungry only think about eating.”


Pereira said he envies the United States, a country viewed by many Brazilians as more racist than their own, for electing a black president. Why, he asks, in his country, where people of color make up a majority of the population, does the idea of a black president seem beyond the realm of possibility? Like most quilombolas, Pereira isn’t convinced that he lives in a racial democracy.

Pereira说他嫉妒美国人,即使就算在巴西人看来美国的种族分裂也更严重,但是他们选出了一个黑人总统。那么巴西这么一个黑人占绝大多数的国家, 选出一个黑人总统还会远么?像大多数“歌伦波”人一样,Pereira并不觉得巴西是一个多种族融合的好例子。

“They say it’s not, but Brazil is a racist country — in all the ways that you could imagine,” Pereira said, pointing to the skin on his forearm. “In Brazil, poverty has a color.”



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