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Brazil - September 2023

Supreme Court ruling protects Indigenous rights

The Supreme Court sided with the Xokleng people in a case considered a landmark for Indigenous peoples’ rights. The case stemmed from Santa Catarina state’s challenge to the land claims of the Xokleng people which, it argued, were not valid on the basis of the “marco temporal” doctrine. Such a thesis, supported by the agribusiness sector and the rural caucus in Congress, considered that Indigenous peoples could not make a land claim if they did not physically occupy it in 1988, when Brazil’s constitution was adopted. Those opposing the cutoff date considered it arbitrary and neglectful of the fact that many Indigenous communities had been expelled from their territories before that date, particularly during the military dictatorship. The Court’s ruling reversed a prior decision by a lower court to strip the land in dispute of its title as an Indigenous territory. The decision will set a precedent for other cases involving land claims of Indigenous peoples, particularly those involving arguments surrounding the “marco temporal” thesis. 

Sources: Human Rights Watch, El Pais, The Guardian, Al Jazeera

Primary categories and factors
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Rights +1 Rights  (+1)
Access to Justice
Political Equality
Social Group Equality

Bolsonaro supporter is sentenced to 17 years imprisonment for participation in “attempted coup”

The Supreme Court handed down a sentence of 17 years imprisonment to a Bolsonaro supporter found guilty of several crimes in connection with the 8 January 2023 riot and attack on the seat of the Legislature and other government buildings. It is the first sentencing related to the January 2023 events. Specifically, he was found guilty of staging a coup, criminal association, violent attack on the rule of law and destruction of public assets. Over 1,300 people have been accused of crimes in connection with the 8 January events, in which supporters of the former President Bolsonaro claimed election fraud and called for military intervention to get him reinstated. 

Sources: El Pais, Associated Press 

Primary categories and factors
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Rule of Law +1 Rule of Law  (+1)
Predictable Enforcement
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