CIMI - Indianist Missionary Council

Newsletter n. 190 - Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995


A new maneuver to amend Decree 22/91 is being adopted. Bothered with the delay of the minister of Justice, Nelson Jobim, the corporation Sattin S.A. Agropecuaria e Imoveis adopted a new strategy and requested that the injunction it filed at the Supreme Federal Court continue to be judged. The company argues that the decree is unconstitutional because it does not provide for the adversary system, which benefits invaders of Indian lands in demarcation procedures. The company is protesting against the demarcation of the Sete Cerros Indian area of the Guarani-Kaiowa Indians in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, comprising 9 thousand hectares. Since December of last year, the judgement has been suspended several times, the first of which at the initiative of the Supreme Court itself, which requested the opinion of the Office of the Attorney General on the matter and in the last eight months at the request of the Sattin corporation, which asked minister Nelson Jobim to amend the decree.
On December 13, the Supreme Court once again referred the case to the Office of the Attorney General for its opinion on the constitutionality of the decree. The opinion of the Attorney General, Geraldo Brindeiro, will only be issued after the vacation of the courts, in February or March, which may or not be accepted by the Supreme Court. Sattin and the minister of Justice hope that the opinion of the Attorney General will endorse the constitutionality of the decree. Indian organizations and different entities and NGOs will remain mobilized to make sure the Office of the Attorney general and the Supreme Court take into due account how harmful the decision can be. Their position is based on a legal thesis defended by Cimi, according to which the adversary system cannot be provided for in the decree, as it renders it unconstitutional.
Determined to meet the interests of invaders of Indian lands, the government is preparing a new offensive, namely, requesting Funai to propose the inclusion of the adversary system in the bill that provides for the Statute of Indian Societies, whose approval by the National Congress has been pending for four years.


The National Forum for Land Reform and Justice in Rural Areas held, on December 20th, the National Day in support of the Land reform in Brazil, which was marked by demonstrations aimed at pressuring the authorities to carry out the Land Reform and at denouncing the violence which legitimizes the concentration of the land in the country. In a note distributed in Brasilia, the Forum, which includes Cimi's participation, has been denouncing the very weak action of the government in this area this year, because contrarily to what it has been announcing, it did not even settle the 40 thousand families it had promised to.
The worsening of the crisis in rural areas can be clearly perceived in bloody conflicts such as the one in Corumbiara and in the imprisonment of landless leaders. The Forum believes that the land reform should not take the form of a compensatory policy aimed at alleviating social pressures. Therefore, it will continue to call on the organized civil society to keep on fighting for democracy in the land and in the Brazilian society

Brasilia, December 21st, 1995
Indianist Missionary Council