Demarcation issues take center stage at stoppage is announced

June 4, 2013
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Demarcation Issues

The fight between Brazilian indigenous people and the government over the rights to inherited lands continues to rage as slow demarcation and the acknowledgment of their territories continues to take place.

On May 24, citizens packed into a council meeting in the city of Sinop for the latest public hearings. The major concerns they stated were the lack of clear criteria when it comes to demarcation—or the act of creating boundaries around a location. Because of this, organizations of all sizes are worried about the possibility of bankruptcy and isolation.

There are currently more than 70 areas that are being disputed. Current legal provisions give Congress the final say on the demarcations.

According to Congressman Nilson Leitao, there is a feeling that the process of demarcation is misguided. Particularly, this comes from the distrust in the good faith of Funai—the National Indian Foundation in Brazil.

"The boundaries are based on anthropological reports, some fraudulent, which has been proven and its validity even overlaps the Constitution," Leitao said. "Not only because of the disorderly way that the demarcations have been done, but mainly because of the expedients used, is why we are protocoling this CPI request to investigate what is behind this sudden interest in areas, especially in the Amazon."

The parliament has announced a national stoppage of demarcation on June 14. This means there will be an increased effort to be heard over the next two weeks. Companies that are interested or currently doing business in the area should partner with lawyers in Brazil to find out how this could affect business operations.

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