Number of Indians killed in Brazil growing amid tensions between indigenous and ranchers

Brazilian indigenous rights activists say the number of Indians killed in Latin America's biggest country has been rising since 2002.

The Roman Catholic Church-backed Indigenous Missionary Council says 452 Indians were killed between 2002 and 2010 compared to 167 killed between 1995 and 2002. The council says conflicts between ranchers and Indians account for most of the killings. Indigenous groups say their ancestral lands are being occupied by ranchers.

The council's executive secretary told CBN radio Saturday that the increased killings are mostly due to government delays in the demarcation of indigenous territory.

Meanwhile, the head of Brazil's federal indigenous affairs agency tendered her resignation on Friday amid rising Indian-rancher tension in central-western Brazil.