Brazil's top court pushes indigenous land ruling to next week

by Reuters
Thursday, 26 August 2021 21:43 GMT

A Xokleng indigenous man celebrates a minister's vote in favour of Indigenous people on the second day of Brazil's Supreme Court trial of a landmark case on indigenous land rights in Brasilia, Brazil August 26, 2021. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli

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A defeat in court for the indigenous peoples could set a precedent for the dramatic rollback of native rights which far-right President Jair Bolsonaro advocates

BRASILIA, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Brazil's Supreme Court on Thursday pushed to next week a high-profile ruling on indigenous land rights, which has drawn thousands of native demonstrators to the capital.

The ruling will affect hundreds of pending land claims, many of which offer a bulwark against deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Most have been awaiting recognition for decades.

A defeat in court for the indigenous peoples could set a precedent for the dramatic rollback of native rights which far-right President Jair Bolsonaro advocates. He says too few of them live on too much land, blocking agricultural expansion.

Powerful farming interests would have firmer legal ground to challenge indigenous land claims and Congress would have the green light to write a restrictive definition of indigenous lands into federal law.

The court will reconvene next Wednesday to take up the case. (Reporting by Ricardo Brito, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)