An ongoing case before the Supreme Court is creating outrage among Brazil’s indigenous people.
“What they want is to take our land from us,” activist Alessandra Korap told The Guardian.
She is one of more than 5,000 indigenous women who, according to the British newspaper, have demonstrated in the capital Brasília in recent days.
The core of the controversy is a “time milestone”, or a “time frame thesis”.
– Deprived of us bit by bit
If the plaintiffs uphold the Supreme Court, the state will only recognize the indigenous peoples who were on their lands in 1988, when the constitution was adopted.
It is a controversial principle. Before the end of the military dictatorship in 1985, many indigenous peoples were pushed away from their traditional territories.
“The time frame thesis indicates that we have only existed since October 5, 1988, but that is not true,” Korap told The Guardian.
– The whole of Brazil is indigenous territory. Unfortunately, we have been deprived – bit by bit – and now they want to take away what was left, she says.
– Genocide bills
Supported by Brazil’s far – right president Jair Bolsonaro, the industry is now pushing to open up indigenous areas for commercial exploitation.
A bill he supports will also make it more difficult to establish new indigenous areas. It provokes strong reactions.
“Indigenous peoples without territory are not indigenous peoples,” Jaciene Brito of the Tupinambá ethnic group told El País.
“Mẽbêngôkre women are against the law projects for genocide,” it said on one of the banners during Friday’s demonstration.
El País writes that there are currently about 200 processes underway where the indigenous population has not had their claim for a piece of land approved.
According to El País, citing the state organization for indigenous Saxons (Funai), 12.2 percent of Brazil’s territory is owned by indigenous peoples.
Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, is now spearheading new efforts to open up indigenous peoples’ areas for mining and agriculture.
On Saturday, he warned about what will happen if the Supreme Court says no to the proposed “time milestone”.
– It will mean the end for the agricultural industry, Bolsonaro said according to the website Power 360.
He believed that the framework conditions would then be unpredictable for the industry.
Get Lula support
While Bolsonaro joins the ranks of the agricultural industry, his rival in next year’s presidential election supports the opposite side, according to The country.
Avisa writes that during the protests last week, a statement of support was read out from the Labor Party’s candidate Luís Inácio Lula da Silva.
Jair Bolsonaro is now at the center of a number of hot conflicts. His supporters have in recent weeks demonstrated against both the Supreme Court and the Brazilian Congress.
Last week, several went earlier world leaders out and warned that the president may be planning a coup based on the January 6 attack on the US Congress.