DOURADOS, Brazil - As a judge, Brazil's Zaloar Murat Martins de Souza is used to making tough calls. More and more, he finds himself having to make one of the toughest of all - whether to separate a child from its family.
De Souza works in Dourados in the southwestern state of Mato Grosso do Sul, where large numbers of indigenous children are growing up in care, raising questions over who is best placed to look after vulnerable young people.
He said poverty was fuelling drug and alcohol abuse and violence among the tribal communities of Dourados, home to about 220,000 people, including 10,000 from Brazil's indigenous minorities.
"The vast majority live in a state of misery. And this deprives the family," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in his office as he stared at a pile of lawsuits.
"Alcohol and drugs are the two great evils of our indigenous villages."
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