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Changes in the demarcation rules for indigenous lands may generate conflict in the field

Posted by Rafael Moro
The new discussions on the rules for the demarcation of indigenous lands were the focus of another live of the Connection Brasília project, of the Parliamentary Front of Agriculture and Livestock (FPA), held on Tuesday (13). On October 28, the Federal Supreme Court will judge an injunction granted by Minister Edson Fachin, which suspended the understanding of the court and the Federal Attorney General (AGU) on the time frame and the conditions for demarcations. The debate, with experts from the Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil (CNA) and the Brazilian Rural Society (SRB).

Edson Fachin's injunction, granted in May, refers to a 2009 understanding regarding the case of the Raposa Serra do Sol reserve, located in Roraima. “We live in a situation of insecurity today because it will be very serious if we return to a pre-trial situation in Raposa Serra do Sol with land conflicts and violence in the countryside. It is exactly what agriculture does not need and what indigenous communities do not need either ”, warned CNA legal consultant, Rodrigo Kaufmann.

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The president of the Brazilian Rural Society, Teresa Vendramini, also agrees with Kaufmann's position. “What takes the farmer away from sleep, makes him apathetic, is the legal uncertainty. There is a producer who has been there for 30, 40 years. We should think about the side of this rural producer who followed Brazilian law and built his assets ”, argued the SRB representative.

Former Minister of Justice and CNA consultant, Osmar Serraglio, also recalled that the rights of indigenous people are guaranteed in the Federal Constitution of 1988 and regrets the interference of the Public Ministry in the indigenous issue. “The indigenous people are beginning to understand that they have to decide what they want. Today, the Public Ministry interferes in everything. He does not admit that they identify what they intend to do with their land, it is an interference, it is this insecurity that is being taken to the field and that the Supreme Plant in Brazil in all areas ”, said the former minister.

Rodrigo Kaufmann, defending the maintenance of the current understanding of the demarcations, stressed that Indians and producers can and should have a good relationship. He mentioned the Raposa Serra do Sol case in which Indians participated in the rice production chain. "Both (producers and Indians) want the same thing that is to grow, to develop, to give comfort, to give joy to their communities and to live well with legal certainty," said Kaufmann.


On the 28th, the STF ministers must decide the future of the demarcation of indigenous lands. In May this year, Minister Edson Fachin granted an injunction that suspended the effects of an opinion by the Federal Attorney General's Office (opinion 001/2017 AGU). The document uses as basis one of the court's own decisions (PET 3388) on the Raposa Serra do Sol case, 2009. In practice, the decisions determined that indigenous peoples are only entitled to land already occupied by them in periods prior to the date enactment of the 1988 Constitution.

In this session, the court will also deal with the repossession action brought by the Santa Catarina government against the demarcation of an indigenous community in the state. With the decision, Fachin determined that both the judicial processes of reintegration and annulment of demarcations of indigenous lands and the AGU's opinion are suspended at least for the duration of the pandemic of the new coronavirus or until the end of the trial dealing with the issue in the STF.