Indians rejoice at Brazilian court ruling

By agency reporter
15 May 2012

The Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hãe Indians of Brazil are celebrating a Supreme Court decision to allow them to live undisturbed on their land.

Survival International. the NGO which campaigns for the rights of tribal people, says the Pataxó, of Bahia state, have been subjected to violent conflict for decades as ranchers have been occupying their indigenous territory.

They have been pushing to be able to live undisturbed on their ancestral land, a right guaranteed to them by Brazil’s constitution and by international law.

After a long judicial battle, Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled this month that the ranchers must leave the area.

The Pataxó sang and danced at a ceremony to welcome the decision. One Indian said, ‘Today our damaged heart is crying with happiness’.

State Deputy Padre Ton emphasised that this land is for the Indians, ‘chased away and evicted by the violence they suffered’.

The Brazilian authorities are now responsible for resettling the ranchers.

[Ekk/4]

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