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28 Jun 2019

Al Jazeera

Brazil: Supreme Court blocks plan to transfer power over indigenous lands to the agriculture ministry

“Brazil judge blocks transfer of control over indigenous land”, 25th June 2019

…A Supreme Court judge in Brazil has suspended President Jair Bolsonaro's plan to transfer power over indigenous land to the country's agriculture ministry. Justice Luis Roberto Barroso on Monday halted Bolsonaro's provisional measure, meaning responsibility for the demarcation of indigenous territory will remain with the National Indigenous Affairs Agency (FUNAI) for the time being. In May, Brazil's Congress blocked Bolsonaro's first attempt to transfer power from FUNAI to the Ministry of Agriculture, but the president issued another temporary decree last week repeating the move.  As the provisional measure had already been discussed in the current legislative session, it could not be debated again in the same session, Barroso argued. "The transfer of jurisdiction for the demarcation of indigenous lands was also rejected in the current legislative session. Therefore, the debate on the point cannot be reopened by a new provisional measure," he said. Indigenous leaders and human rights defenders have hit out at the provisional measure, with the Indigenous Missionary Council saying it was a "flagrant" violation of Brazil's constitution, which defends the rights of indigenous people over their ancestral land.  The decision will now have to be analysed and confirmed by the Supreme Court. Barroso has asked for the case to be examined urgently, according to Globo, a Brazilian media outlet…