114.5 Diasporas, borders and ethnic and national conflict: The case of Brazilians in Paraguay

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 1:30 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Josť Lindomar COELHO ALBUQUERQUE , Ciencias Sociais, UNIFESP, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Thousands of Brazilians were scattered in many countries around the world in the last decades of the twentieth and early twenty-first century. The most publicized and researched destinations of new immigrants in Brazil are the United States, the countries of Western Europe and Japan. In these national contexts, these immigrants are classified in various ways (Hispanics, Brazucas, Sudacos etc.) And the representations and identifications on the Brazil and the Brazilians acquire new meanings in multiple situations of ethnic and national tensions. However, the second destination of Brazilians abroad is to neighboring Paraguay, a country considered to be poorer and less developed than Brazil. About 450 thousand Brazilians and their descendants live in the neighboring nation, and near the international border with Brazil. This Brazilian diaspora in Paraguay has caused conflicts with various forms of the Paraguayan population, especially tensions over land ownership, the destruction of the environment with the planting of soybeans, the problems of territorial sovereignty in a border area colonized by Brazilian and ethnic conflicts among Brazilians of German and Italian descendants and local indigenous and peasant populations. The objective of this paper is just to reflect on the intersection of social, ethnic and national conflicts occurring in this region of the international border between two countries with very uneven economic development. These tensions around land ownership, the national sovereignty and developing a non-destructive of the environment, the ethnic and national conflicts acquire historical dimensions in relation to the revived memories of the War of the Triple Alliance (1864-1870) - War in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay against Paraguay- in today's conflicts between Brazilian soybean planters and Paraguayan peasants. Moreover, these conflicts also reinforce the Brazilian and Paraguayan nationalism and extend the manifestations of xenophobia and racism in relation to local populations.