Brazil is still very far from making justice to its colonial past but a legal decision on the 8th of February has sparkled celebration amongst two of the most oppressed minorities in the country. The Brazilian Federal Supreme Court ruled against the agro-industry lobby in Congress who fight for the non-demarcation of indigenous lands and slave descendants.
“Quilombos”, where the communities and the villages formed by slaves that resisted the colonial rule. The “quilombolas” are the people that lived in these communities, which still exist nowadays, maintaining African and Afro-descendant customs and culture.
The quilombolas just won a juridical dispute on their lands rights. After six years since the beginning of the trial in the Brazilian Supreme Court, the action against the decree that regulates the quilombolas land rights was considered improcedent(unfounded). The decision was considered a historical achievement by the quilombolas. The ministers vote also included the improcendency(no legal grounds) of the so-called “marco temporal”(time frame) thesis — a juridical thesis that argues that the constitutional right of the quilombolas, as well as the indigenous peoples lands, would be valid only for the areas physically occupied by the 5th of October of 1988, the day the Brazilian Constitution was promulgated.
Both the confirmation of the decree for the quilombola’s lands rights and the rejection of the “marco temporal” thesis constitute a victory for the quilombolas communities and indigenous peoples in a context of a wide reduction of the Brazilian people’s rights.
This is Idjahure Kadiwel speaking from the Bodoquena Village in the Kadiweu indigenous land reserve for Radio Yandê.
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- Know more about the Quilombos.