• May 26, 2024

Court Poised to Rebuff Land Claim Cutoff

 Court Poised to Rebuff Land Claim Cutoff
Photo: alexlmx

Brazil’s Supreme Court is likely to rule against attempts by the country’s farm lobby to limit land claims by indigenous peoples to areas they occupied before 1988, according to Reuters.

The case stems from a dispute in Santa Catarina state where the government rejected a land claim by the Xokleng people, who were evicted by tobacco farmers from what was their ancestral land.

Congress has pushed ahead with bills allowing indigenous reservations only on land that was occupied by native communities when Brazil passed its constitution in 1988. The lower house passed a bill last month and its backers want the Senate to follow suit before the Supreme Court rules on the issue.

On Aug. 31, Justice Cristiano Zanin cast a crucial vote that all but ensures the 1988 cut-off date will be rejected by the court. Zanin said indigenous communities that were not present on their lands in 1988 may have been forced to leave.