Indians ‘cry with happiness’ at Brazilian Court ruling

May 11, 2012

Pataxó Hã Hã Hãe people lobby the Brazilian authorities to uphold their land rights, Brazil. © José Cruz/ABr

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

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 emphasized 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.

Brazilian Indigenous People