Celebrating our 20th Anniversary

Close this search box.

Grist: Marco temporal: The anti-Indigenous theory that just won’t die

Lyric Aquino article “Marco temporal: The anti-Indigenous theory that just won’t die” appeared Oct 16, 2023 on the Grist website.

The article can be read in its entirety on the Grist website.



The following are excerpts from the article:

  •  A recent effort by Brazilian lawmakers would be a disaster for Indigenous land claims and efforts to protect the Amazon rainforest.
  • In September 2023, Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that marco temporal, a legal theory that would have limited Indigenous claims to land and opened those territories to extractive industries like mining and agriculture, was unconstitutional.
  • Following the ruling, Brazilian lawmakers approved legislation that would make marco temporal legal anyway, putting Indigenous lands and communities at risk again.
  • Brazil’s agribusiness sector, which holds significant influence over the country’s conservative Congress, has supported efforts to make marco temporal law
  • With passage, the law would mark a specific time for when Indigenous land claims could be accepted: If Indigenous communities weren’t on the land they claimed in 1988 — when the Brazilian constitution was passed — they would have no claims to those lands, opening them up for development.

  • A coalition of seven Indigenous Brazilian organizations have sent an appeal to the United Nations denouncing violence against Indigenous peoples and warning that the approval of the marco temporal bill could lead to more. They have also urged President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to veto the bill.

  • The bill now awaits Lula’s approval or veto, but even with a veto, lawmakers can override it with a majority vote in each chamber.


Note: In May 2023 Kleber Karipuna, head of the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon, gave an interview to the Campaign to Stop GE Trees about this issue.

Share the Post: