After occupying Brasilia, indigenous peoples prepare a new offensive against ‘Temporal Milestone’

A agenda de lutas dos povos indígenas incluiu um grande acampamento em Brasília contra a tese defendida pela bancada ruralista (Reprodução/Carolina Cruz)
Mencius Melo – from Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – After a week of intense demonstrations in Brasilia on the occasion of the Free Land Camp (ATL) 2023, the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (Apib) announced, during a plenary session at the close of the event, a new offensive against the ‘Temporal Milestone’, scheduled to be put on the agenda of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) on June 7. Apib will return to the federal capital from June 5 to 9. The mobilization is another message that the native peoples will not move an inch from the actions planned for 2023.

According to the executive coordinator of Apib, Kleber Karipuna, the movement is a development and a continuation of the 19th edition of the Free Land Camp. “In a little more than a month, we will be together again here in the federal capital to hold another camp of struggle and resistance against this thesis that is being processed in the Federal Supreme Court (STF) and is a real affront to the territorial rights of indigenous peoples”, criticized the leader.

The indigenous lawyer Inory Kanamary, of the OAB-AM, is against the thesis of the ‘Temporal Milestone’ (Reproduction/Personal archive)

The lawyer and president of the Commission for the Protection and Defense of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB-AM), Inory Kanamary, originally from the Kanamary people of Vale do Javari, also criticized the “Temporal Milestone” thesis. “We were here before the arrival of the Portuguese and yet we continue to be invisibilized. To argue that we, indigenous peoples, would only have the right to demarcation of the lands if we had been in possession of them since October 5, 1988, the date of promulgation of the Constitution, is a clear attempt to deny our existence and, consequently, our right”, she said.


White men

For the lawyer, it is a nuisance to have to resort to the STF to ensure what should not even be under discussion. “To want to prove our existence since 1988 and still submit ourselves to the judgment of white men who have never even set foot in a village or in an indigenous territory is another blow to our history”, lamented Inory. “I believe that because she is a woman, Rosa had and has more sensitivity to understand our struggle”, she said.

If the thesis that limits the demarcation of indigenous lands from the date of 1988 to the present day wins, Inory Kanamary analyzes that it is a death blow to the life and rights of indigenous peoples in Brazil. “The judgment in favor of the Temporal Framework is to deny our right to at least continue to exist. It is to violate us of all the rights inherent to our dignity as a person. Without territory there is no life, without life there are no rights”, she said.

Apib maintains its struggle agenda for the month of June and promises to occupy Brasília in another major mobilization (Reproduction/Apib)

For the sociologist Luiz Antônio, the thesis of the “Temporal Milestone” is a juridical rape. “They are violating the 1988 Constitution. Contained therein is ‘Article 231’ which says, verbatim, that indigenous peoples are guaranteed their culture, language, traditions, and territory, and that the Union is responsible for protecting these rights and demarcating their territories. And the Federal Constitution (FC) does not say that this right has a date. But the ‘Temporal Framework’ comes and suggests that the right would be enshrined from 1988, as if the indigenous people had appeared on that date. This is completely absurd”, he accused.

Luiz Antônio also points out the biggest contradiction of the thesis defended by the rural caucus in the National Congress. “The Constitution guarantees the principle of private property and the formulators of the ‘Marco Temporal’ thesis establish a time line that demands that private property prior to 1988 be respected. Now, if you respect private property prior to 1988, why do you put in check a right that was also guaranteed prior to 1988?”, he questioned.

Read also: Kanamary people appeal to minister Rosa Weber to contain violence in Vale do Javari


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