STF minister rejects government action that sought to postpone indigenous acts in Brasília | Policy

Minister Luís Roberto Barroso, of the Supreme Federal Court (STF), rejected on Wednesday (25) an action by the federal government that sought to postpone acts of indigenous people in Brasília this week.

Indigenous people from 170 ethnic groups are in the federal capital to protest against proposals under consideration by the National Congress that legalize mining and allow the Union to retake indigenous areas (see details in the video below).

At the same time, the STF may begin this week to judge an action that discusses the thesis that indigenous people can only claim lands already occupied before the promulgation of the 1988 Constitution.

In Brasilia, indigenous people from 170 ethnic groups await judgment by the Supreme Court on land demarcation

In Brasilia, indigenous people from 170 ethnic groups await judgment by the Supreme Court on land demarcation

The Attorney General’s Office (AGU) sued the Supreme Court arguing that the acts, coordinated by the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, could pose a risk of contagion for Covid.

The government then asked the STF to determine the transfer of the acts to a more prudent future date, at a time of “greater epidemiological security”.

Minister Luís Roberto Barroso, of the STF — Photo: Nelson Jr./SCO/STF

Barroso rejected the government’s request on the grounds that the AGU was unable to demonstrate the risks of the demonstration.

The minister stressed that the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil sought advice from scientific institutions of “unequivocal credibility”, as well as adopted sanitary protocols, including:

  • requirement of proof of complete vaccination schedule;
  • testing of participants on arrival and departure;
  • use of protective equipment;
  • respect for the protocols of the Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health – SESAI, an organ of the Union.

“There is no evidence, therefore, of any risk or interest opposed to an order to authorize the restriction of the right to expression, assembly and association of such citizens. On the contrary, there seems to have been great care and concern with the sanitary conditions of the organization of the event. As if this were not enough, the APIB publicized its protocols”, stated the minister in the decision.

According to Barroso, the rights of free expression, assembly and association are guaranteed by the Constitution and can only be limited exceptionally if the seriousness of the risks involved is proven.