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It is one of the most expensive areas in the Brazilian capital – and one of the most sacred. A plot in downtown Brasilia – known as Santuario dos Pajes or Shrine of the Shamans – is at the center of a conflict between indigenous people hoping to preserve their way of life and developers eager to build an upmarket neighborhood.About a third of almost a million indigenous people live in Brazil's cities, government statistics show.One November afternoon last year, Guajajara said about 10 men – some armed – and three tractors invaded the Santuario dos Pajes' area, knocking down trees in the hope of clearing the land sufficiently to pave an avenue down its middle.HOW MUCH LAND?In 2013, a court recognized the indigenous land ownership rights over the area of about 4 hectares bought by Santxie but Funai, Terracap and federal prosecutors appealed.Terracap said it has not been proved the indigenous people lived in the sacred area before their registered their claim.The matter was further complicated when in October 2017 federal prosecutors, who act on behalf of indigenous people in Brazil, made a request in court to allocate a further 28 hectares to Santxie's family and the ethnic group Fulni-O Tapuya.
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