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The Guardian: Brazil supreme court rules in favor of Indigenous land rights in historic win

Indigenous man smokes a pipe during a protest in front of Brazil’s National Congress in the capital city of Brasilia on 30 May 2023. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP


On September 21, 2023, Tom Phillips article Brazil supreme court rules in favor of Indigenous land rights in historic win appeared on The Guardian’s website.

The entire article can be read on The Guardian’s website

The following are excerpts from the article: 


  • Nine of the court’s 11 members voted against what rights groups had dubbed the “time limit trick” – an agribusiness-backed attempt to prevent Indigenous communities claiming land they did not physically occupy in 1988.


  • Many Indigenous groups were driven from their ancestral lands during Brazil’s 21-year military dictatorship which ended in 1985.


  • Brazil’s minister for Indigenous peoples, Sônia Guajajara, celebrated what she called “a great achievement” that was the fruit of years of struggle and protest.


  • Only two supreme court justices voted in favour of the “marco temporal” (time marker) thesis restricting Indigenous land claims: Kassio Nunes Marques and André Mendonça. Both men were appointed to the supreme court by the former far-right president Jair Bolsonaro


  • The Indigenous rights group Survival International commemorated the defeat of what it called an attempt “to legalize the theft of huge areas of Indigenous lands”. Dozens of uncontacted tribes could have been wiped out had such efforts prospered, the group claimed.



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.

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