Brazilian Indians rejoice as Supreme Court affirms land rights

BRAZIL: INDIANS REJOICE AS SUPREME COURT AFFIRMS LAND RIGHTS

Survival International Press Release, December 11th:

Indians across Brazil are celebrating today as the majority of judges in the Supreme Court ruled to uphold indigenous land rights in a key case. Indian representatives have called the decision, made yesterday on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a ‘great victory’.

The ruling concerns the indigenous territory Raposa-Serra do Sol (‘Land of the Fox and Mountain of the Sun’) in the Amazon state of Roraima. A small group of powerful farmers, who want the Indians’ land and are supported by local politicians, had petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the Brazilian government’s legal recognition of the territory. President Lula signed the territory into law in 2005.

Yesterday eight out of eleven Supreme Court judges affirmed the Indians’ rights to the land, saying it had been demarcated according to the constitution. They affirmed the importance of maintaining indigenous territories as single, continuous areas and stated that territories on Brazil’s borders do not pose a risk to national sovereignty.

Read the rest of the article on the Survival International website: www.survival-international.org/news/4021

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