indigenous protest in Brazil before the historic decision on ancestral lands | World news
BRASILIA (Reuters) – Hundreds of indigenous people danced and chanted outside Brazil’s Supreme Court on Wednesday to urge judges not to rule in favor of a 1988 deadline for their land claims, a proposal backed by the industry agricultural.
The protest drew an unprecedented 6,000 indigenous people from 176 tribes to camp in the Brazilian capital to pressure the court to reject the deadline, organizers said.
A defeat in court for indigenous peoples could set a precedent for the dramatic decline in indigenous rights advocated by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. He says too few of them live on too much land, which blocks agricultural expansion.
“The Bolsonaro government wants to eliminate us. If it were up to them, there would be no more indigenous people in Brazil,” said Ricardo, chief of Xukuru, northeastern Brazil. He wore a long headdress of blue macaw feathers and held a maraca.
Protesters posted banners stating “Marco Temporal NO”, rejecting the timetable adopted in 2016. As of late afternoon, the court had still not begun to debate the issue.
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The ruling will affect 230 pending land claims, many of which provide a bulwark against deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Most have been waiting for recognition for decades.
Powerful agricultural interests would have a stronger legal basis to challenge native land claims, and Congress would be given the green light to enshrine a restrictive definition of native land in federal law.
The case came to the Supreme Court in an appeal by the Xokleng people of southern Santa Catarina state against what they argued was too narrow an interpretation of indigenous rights by only recognizing land occupied by communities. indigenous peoples when the constitution of Brazil was ratified in 1988.
The Xokleng were dislodged https://reut.rs/3zcZ00Q from their traditional hunting grounds over a century ago to make way for European settlers, mostly Germans fleeing economic and political turmoil. If they succeed, 830 farmers risk being evicted from the small farms where their families have lived for decades.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; editing by Grant McCool)
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