Indigenous Groups Celebrate Brazil Supreme Court Ruling That Bolsters Land Rights

Indigenous Brazilians celebrated on Thursday, September 21, after Brazil’s top court overwhelmingly ruled to strike down a restriction that would curb Indigenous land claims.

The legal argument, known as “marco temporal,” would have prevented Indigenous groups from claiming ancestral land they did not live on when Brazil’s constitution was ratified in 1988. The supreme court case arose after a group of Xokleng people were displaced from their land in the Santa Catarina state. The case was appealed on behalf of the Xokleng people by Funai, a body of the Brazilian government that protects Indigenous rights.

Indigenous groups and human rights experts said that the rejected legal argument could have legitimized the seizure of territory that has belonged to Brazil’s Indigenous people.

This video was posted to Instagram by user @tukuma_pataxo, who said it shows members of the Xokleng community celebrating the supreme court decision. Credit: @apiboficial / @tukuma_pataxo via Storyful