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Federal Supreme Court Maintains Rules for Indigenous Areas

08/17/2017 - 10h49

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LETÍCIA CASADO
RUBENS VALENTE
FROM BRASÍLIA

In a unanimous decision on Wednesday the 16th, the Federal Supreme Court (STF) ruled against the government of Mato Grosso which was seeking indemnification for the expropriation of land for the Xingu national park and for reservations occupied by Nhambiquaras and Parecis Indians.

Essentially, the justices found that the Indians had already been occupying the area, which belongs to the Federal Government, and that the State has no standing to seek redress. The court analyzed two cases by the state government questioning the possession of the areas by Indians. Both were rejected.

Mato Grosso had been demanding indemnification from the Federal Government and FUNAI (National Indian Foundation) arguing that the areas had been improperly included in the limits of the Xingu park, without any compensation paid by the Federal Government.

It also argued that the Indians weren't living in the region when the demarcation was effected.

For FUNIA, the lands are "immemorially indigenous". The State argued that the areas have belonged to it since the 1891 Constitution, but the Federal Government, which is the other party in the case, argued that the government of Mato Grosso was unable to prove ownership of the territory.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

Read the article in the original language

Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters
Waura Indians wrestle during this year's 'quarup,' a ritual held over several days to honour in death a person of great importance to them, in Xingu National Park, Mato Grosso State
Waura Indians wrestle during this year's 'quarup,' a ritual held over several days to honour in death a person of great importance to them, in Xingu National Park, Mato Grosso State

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