The STF began to judge on the 26th of September whether the demarcation of indigenous lands should follow the criterion of the time frame, by which indigenous peoples can only claim the demarcation of lands already occupied by them before the date of promulgation of the 1988 Constitution.
With the request for a view, there is no date for the trial to resume. Indigenous people protested outside the STF against the postponement of the trial (video below).
Indigenous people protest in front of the Supreme Court after requesting a view on ‘time frame’
Before Moraes’ request, Minister Nunes Marques presented this fourth vote in favor of the thesis.
Marques was the second minister to vote. He argued that the Supreme Court has already recognized the time frame, a decision taken when judging the Raposa Serra do Sol reserve case.
“This understanding considers relevant constitutional values — on the one hand, protection, encouragement of indigenous culture; on the other, the legal security of regional development, the right to private property and the right to support other members of Brazilian society,” he said.
According to Nunes Marques, in the case judged, traditional indigenous occupation in the claimed area was not proven.
Last week, the case’s rapporteur, Edson Fachin, spoke out against the time frame (video below).
Rapporteur at the STF, Fachin votes against time frame for demarcation of indigenous lands
He argued that indigenous ownership is not equal to civil ownership and should not be investigated from this perspective, but based on the Constitution – which guarantees them the original right to land.
The remaining ministers have yet to present their votes.
In the first trial sessions, more than 30 entities interested in the cause were heard, in addition to the attorney general of the Union and the attorney general of the Republic.
The decision of the STF ministers is awaited by thousands of indigenous people from various regions who are in Brasília, in the Luta pela Vida camp, set up about two kilometers from the National Congress. Currently, there are more than 300 processes for the demarcation of indigenous lands open in the country.
Indigenous people are against the recognition of the thesis of the temporal framework and have already made several demonstrations in Brasília (video below). Rural landowners argue that the criterion is important to ensure legal certainty. President Jair Bolsonaro is in favor of the thesis.
Indigenous women march against the time frame in Brasília
The case is being judged by the STF because, in 2013, the Federal Regional Court of the 4th Region (TRF-4) applied the “time frame” criterion when granting the Santa Catarina Environmental Institute an area that is part of the Biological Reserve of Sassafras, the Indigenous Land Ibirama LaKlãnõ.
After the decision, Funai sent an appeal to the Supreme Court challenging the TRF-4 decision. The understanding of the STF may be applied in other similar decisions in Brazil.