"time frame": on the 2nd day of judgment, PGR takes a stand against restricting demarcations

The second day of the historic judgment in the Supreme Court (STF) of the “time frame”, a legal thesis that restricts demarcations of indigenous lands, once again came to an end without the reading of the ministers’ votes and should be resumed next Wednesday (8).

The highlight was the speech of the Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras, who took a stand against the creation of jurisprudence based on the “time frame” criterion, but proposed that similar cases in other courts be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.

“This attorney general agrees with the removal of the ‘time frame’ when it is evident that there has already been illicit possession of the lands of the Indians”

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“For reasons of legal certainty, the identification and delimitation of lands traditionally occupied by the Indians must be done in the specific case, applying to each case the constitutional rule in force at the time”, he declared.

The position of the PGR, the highest instance of the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) is contrary to that of the Attorney General of the Union (AGU), which defended the adoption of the “time frame” criterion during the session on Wednesday (1).

How will the next session be

Next week, the judgment of the “timeframe” will open with the reading of the ministers’ votes.

The first to vote should be the minister-rapporteur, Edson Fachin, who has already expressed a position against the adoption of the “time frame” in a virtual plenary session. As the judgment now takes place in face-to-face session, he will have to cast the vote once more.

According to the regulations of the STF, after the rapporteur’s vote, ministers vote in order from the oldest to the youngest. At 49 years old, the first to speak must be Kassio Nunes, nominated by Jair Bolsonaro (no party). The president has publicly defended the restriction on demarcation of indigenous lands.

What is the “timeframe”

The process that will be analyzed again by the ministers next Wednesday (8) concerns the possession of the territory of the Xokleng people, from Santa Catarina. This is a repossession lawsuit filed in 2009 by the state government regarding the Ibirama-Laklãnõ Indigenous Land (TI).

Severely criticized by indigenous organizations, the “time frame” is a legal thesis defended by ruralists that raises new barriers to the demarcation of lands from native peoples.

By the “time frame”, the territories can only be demarcated if the indigenous peoples are able to prove that they were occupying the area previously or on the exact date of the promulgation of the Constitution, on October 5, 1988, or if a conflict over the possession of the land is proven.

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“If the thesis is endorsed, we will have the demarcations halted and we will certainly have requests for revisions of lands already demarcated”, explains Paloma Gomes, legal advisor to the Indigenous Missionary Council (Cimi).

Land grabbers, loggers and miners, who see indigenous territories as an as yet unexplored source of profit, can be even more encouraged to enter the preserved areas, adding to the growing statistics of land conflicts.

“We will have even more the absence of public policies aimed at indigenous peoples, we will have more violence, more expulsions of native peoples. In short, a process of absolute extermination of culture and indigenous peoples in our country,” adds the lawyer.

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