Bill 2903/2023 can be voted at any moment by Brazilian Senate. The bill – approved on May 30 by the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies – seeks to make profound changes in the demarcation process of indigenous lands, and legitimize the “Temporal Landmark thesis”, whereby Indigenous people would only have the right to claim territories that were in their possession when the Federal Constitution was adopted in 1988. The bill impacts the rights of Indigenous peoples, particularly regarding the right to self-determination and traditional territory, and reinforces the systemic human rights violations suffered by Indigenous peoples in Brazil who for centuries have been expelled from their territories. Amnesty International calls on the Senate to immediately reject this bill.
- Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on July 31, 2023.
- Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to the government official listed below. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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Rodrigo Pacheco, President of Senate
Praça dos Três Poderes – Brasília DF – CEP 70165-900 – Brazil
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Nestor Forster Jr.
Embassy of Brazil
3006 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (202) 238-2700
We are deeply concerned with Bill 2903/2023, that reforms the Indigenous Peoples Statute (“Estatuto do Índio”) including the rules of demarcation of Indigenous lands guaranteed by the Federal Constitution. This Bill could legitimize the “Temporal Landmark thesis”, whereby Indigenous Peoples would only have the right to claim territories that were in their possession when the Federal Constitution was adopted in 1988.
The Temporal Landmark thesis will reiterate the systemic human rights violations suffered by Indigenous peoples in Brazil, who for centuries have been expelled from their territories. The country has 285 stalled demarcation processes, which exposes thousands of communities to violent land conflicts that, in 2022 alone, killed 176 people, according to data from the Indigenous Missionary Council (Cimi).
Additionally, the approval of the bill can further enable an increase in deforestation, land invasions and violence against Indigenous peoples since consolidated demarcation processes could be annulled. The protection of this right is necessary to guarantee the survival of Indigenous peoples.
The rights of Indigenous peoples cannot be put at risk. Brazil has international obligations ratified by treaties and the Constitution for protection that must be respected, including provisions about indigenous people rights. We therefore ask you to immediately reject this bill, voting in favour of the Brazilian population, the protection of Indigenous peoples, all native communities, the fragile ecosystems, and the world’s last carbon sinks that contribute to mitigating global warming.
I urge you and all Senate members to reject this bill.