The session has just began and the expectation is that the Court will guarantee the original rights of peoples; in Brasilia and in the territories, the indigenous are following the judgment

By Anmiga’s press office

More than 4,000 ancestral women warriors, gathered in the II National March of Indigenous Women, are mobilized to follow the judgment in the Supreme Court (STF) that will define the future of the demarcation of indigenous lands in Brazil.

Scheduled to start at 2 pm on Wednesday (8), the session of the Supreme Court has been resumed with the reading of the votes of the Justices. The previous session, held last Thursday (2), ended with the manifestation of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) on the case. The week before, Minister Edson Fachin read the initial report, the parties involved in the process made their oral arguments and the amici curiae – “friends of the court” made their contributions to the understanding of the case.

“Today is a decisive day for the future of the trial, because it enters the stage of the votes of the ministers, starting with the vote of the reporting minister, Edson Fachin, then opening for the other ministers”, explains Samara Pataxó, legal advisor of the Articulação dos Povos Indigenous peoples of Brazil (Apib).

The prime minister to present his vote is the rapporteur of the case. Only then will the other votes be presented, in ascending order of seniority – from the newest to the oldest -, that is, from Minister Nunes Marques to Minister Gilmar Mendes (dean), with the President of the Court, Minister Luiz, voting last Flow

There is no way to predict how the session will take place. There is the possibility of a request for views, which can be made by any of the ministers; if it occurs, the judgment will be suspended and must be re-arranged. “This would be a bad scenario for the indigenous peoples, but there is also the possibility of the ministers asking to anticipate their votes, which would be a good scenario for the judgment to be able to proceed, even if one of the ministers up front asks for a view”, explains Samara.

What is certain is that “indigenous women will be on the front line to bury once and for all the thesis of the milestone thesis, during the II National March of Indigenous Women”, reaffirms the coordination of the National Articulation of Indigenous Women Warriors of Ancestrality (Anmiga ).

In defense of their original rights, indigenous peoples mobilized to accompany the trial in Brasília and in the territories. In the capital, for reasons of care and to protect the lives of women, children and elderly women, the more than 4,000 women who build the II National March of Indigenous Women will follow the trial on a screen mounted in the main tent of the camp installed in the space. of Funarte. The expectation is that the Court will guarantee the original rights of peoples and refute the thesis of the temporal thesis.

Know the disputed theses

The Supreme Court is analyzing the repossession filed by the IMA – Environment Institute (IMA), of Santa Catarina, against the Xokleng people, referring to the Ibirama-Laklãnõ IT, where the Guarani and Kaingang peoples also live. In 2019, the Court recognized the “general repercussion” of the case, that is, the decision will serve as a guideline for the federal management and all instances of Justice with regard to demarcation procedures.

At the center of the dispute are two theses: on the one hand the thesis of the so-called milestone thesis, defended by ruralists and which restricts indigenous rights, and on the other the defense of the original right and traditionality of indigenous occupation as a criterion for the demarcation of indigenous lands .

According to the restrictive thesis of the milestone thesis, indigenous peoples would only have the right to demarcate the lands that were in their possession on October 5, 1988, the date of promulgation of the Constitution. In addition to bringing the burden of proof of the dispute for their territories to the communities, the thesis ignores and at the same time legitimizes the history of expulsions and violence suffered by indigenous peoples before the date. This thesis is defended by the most backward sectors of agribusiness, as well as other sectors interested in exploring resources in indigenous lands.

Opposed to the milestone thesis is the “theory of the indigenous”, enshrined in the Federal Constitution of 1988. According to it, the indigenous right to land is original, that is, it predates the formation of the Brazilian State itself, and the public power is only responsible for declaring your recognition. Without making no mention about any milestone thesis, the 1988 Constitution establishes the traditionality of indigenous occupation as the only criterion for demarcation. This thesis is defended by indigenous peoples and organizations, indigenists, environmentalists and human rights organizations.

Indigenous peoples claim “our history did not begin in 1988, and our struggles are centuries old.

Permanent mobilization

Between August 22nd and 28th, six thousand indigenous people, from 176 peoples from all regions of the country, were present in Brasília, gathered in the “Luta pela Vida” camp to follow the trial in the Supreme Court and fight in defense of their rights, protesting also against the anti-indigenous agenda of the Bolsonaro government and the National Congress.

In order to continue following the trial, the indigenous people decided to continue their mobilization in Brasília and in the territories. Thus, around 1,200 indigenous leaders, representing their peoples, remained in the capital permanently and now the group joins forces with the II National March of Indigenous Women.

In Brasília or in the territories, “we are seeking to guarantee our territories, those that preceded us, for present and future generations, defending the environment, this common good that guarantees our ways of life as humanity. In addition to being a mere physical resource, it is also home to the spirits of forests, animals and the waters of life as a whole, source of our ancestral knowledge”, reinforces the March coordination.