Note from BW of Brazil: Great news here! I must admit, when I started hearing activists chattering about a push for a land grab, disgustingly disrespectful comments by certain conservative politicians and the way the government has been on a path to take the Brazilian people back to the stone age and the murders of quilombo inhabitants and leaders, this seemed to be a done deal. But just a few days ago, while most Brazilians were gearing up for about a week of non-stop partying, the STF (Supreme Court) delivered a major victory to the Movimento Negro, the quilombolas and the black population as a whole. Check the news below.
STF declares decree regulating new quilombola lands constitutional
Courtesy of iG (Photos: Wilson Dias, ITERJ)
One of the greatest difficulties for quilombolas to obtain resources is certifying the remaining communities.
On Thursday (8), the Federal Supreme Court (STF) determined the maintenance of the validity of Decree 4.887, which sets out the rules for demarcation of lands occupied by communities remaining in the former quilombos.
In practice, the decision represents a victory for the black and quilombola movement and a defeat of the so-called ruralist coalition in Congress. The decree was signed by former President Lula da Silva (PT) in 2003, allowing a significant increase in the concession and demarcation of areas traditionally recognized as foci of resistance to slavery by Brazil.
In April 2017, the Temer government had ordered to suspend the titles of quilombola territories until the STF (Supreme Court) decided on an action presented by the Democrats (DEM), that wanted the overturn of the decree of 2003.
The analysis began in court in 2012. At the time, the then Minister Cézar Peluso voted in favor of annulment of the decree, as requested by the DEM. The lawsuit has been standing for years in court, due to several requests for a hearing. Finally, with the exception of Peluso, all the ministers considered the decree constitutional, and the voting ended in 10 to 1 in favor of the quilombolas.
The president of the DEM, Senator Agripino Maia (RN), faced with the imminence of the defeat, turned back and admitted that the party’s request was “a mistake of the past.”
Members of the National Coordination of Articulation of the Quilombola Rural Black Communities (Conaq) celebrated the feat.”This is a first step in the recognition of the debt that the Brazilian State has with the quilombolas, as it also has with the natives,” said Denildo Rodrigues, a member of the association at the end of the trial.
Conaq was one of many associations engaged in lobbying the STF in voting. Among other actions, it organized the undersigned “Not one less quilombo”, which had more than 100 thousand signatures requesting the maintenance of Lula’s decree.
“There is no motive, reason or circumstance today for the policy of titling quilombos to be or remain paralyzed. What is expected now is for the public administration to continue and complete the regularization processes,” said Juliana de Paula Batista, a lawyer at the Socio-Environmental Institute, also involved in the case.