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“Final Judgement Day”. This was how August 16, 2017, was being called. The rights of the Brazilian indigenous peoples and quilombolas was in question. Indigenous people and quilombolas were in the hands of the ministers of the Supreme Court.
Looking at that scenario, the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (Apib) and the National Coordination of Articulation of Quilombola Rural Black Communities (Conaq) joined forces and struggles for their rights and launched, with the support of partner organizations, the campaign ” No rights lost, no step backwards” against the temporal demarcation and the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (UDA) that questions the decree that regulates the quilombola lands in Brazil. And A Drop in the Ocean was in charge of the graphic production of this campaign that united the two already existing campaigns: “Not a single quilombo lost” and “Our history does not begin in 1988”.
Fortunately, two of the three actions on the agenda regarding the Mato Grosso Indians were won by unanomous vote in the Supreme Court. The government of the state of Mato Grosso, which requested financial compensation for the Indigenous Lands in the state, besides losing the case, had to bear the costs of the same and pay modest R$ 100 thousand reais to the Federal Union of Brazil. The third indigenous action that would be tried that the Day, and the most dangerous, was removed from the agenda. The judgment of IT Ventarra, in Rio Grande do Sul, could consolidate the thesis of the unconstitutional “temporal demarcation”. This thesis promotes that only peoples who were occupying the lands on the 5 of October of 1988, date of the promulgation of the Brazilian Constitution, would have rights to them. Before that, however, many indigenous peoples were expelled from their lands, including by violent means. The new date for the ruling is still to be set by the Supreme Court.
The UDA taken to the STF by the DEMocratas questions Decree 4887 of 2003, which guarantees the right to land by quilombola populations. The ruling on the unconstitutionality of the decree began in 2012. After the vote favorable to the UDA of the rapporteur, former Minister Cezar Peluso, and the favorable vote on the constitutionality of the decree by Minister Rosa Weber, Minister Dias Toffoli asked for a review of the process in 2015. Scheduled to be resumed on August 16, 2017, the trial had to be postponed. Minister Toffoli was on medical leave and another date will be scheduled, probably for early September.
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