October 2023: A recent effort by Brazilian lawmakers would be a disaster for Indigenous land claims and efforts to protect the Amazon rainforest, as reported on the Grist website. Following Brazil’s Supreme Court September 2023 rule that marco temporal ( a legal theory supported by Brazil’s agribusiness sector that would have limited Indigenous claims to land and opened those territories to extractive industries like mining and agriculture) was unconstitutional, “Brazilian lawmakers approved legislation that would make marco temporal legal anyway, putting Indigenous lands and communities at risk again”. The following are excerpts from the article, which can be read in full on the Grist website:
With passage, the law would mark a specific time for when Indigenous land claims could be accepted: If Indigenous communities weren’t on the land they claimed in 1988 — when the Brazilian constitution was passed — they would have no claims to those lands, opening them up for development.
A coalition of seven Indigenous Brazilian organizations have sent an appeal to the United Nations denouncing violence against Indigenous peoples and warning that the approval of the marco temporal bill could lead to more. They have also urged President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to veto the bill.
The bill now awaits Lula’s approval or veto, but even with a veto, lawmakers can override it with a majority vote in each chamber.
Note: In May 2023 Kleber Karipuna, head of the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon, gave an interview to the Campaign to Stop GE Trees about this issue.