Legal Assistance Center for the People – NAJUP – MS
Strategic litigation to ensure the rights of Indigenous peoples - actions in defense of the traditional territory and against the "temporal framework" thesis
Mato Grosso do Sul
Objetivos e público prioritário
To take judicial action in relevant strategic lawsuits as a timeframe to guarantee the constitutional right of Indigenous peoples to their traditional territories. To influence the Federal Supreme Court of the third Region (São Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul), providing subsidies to cause the magistrates to act favorably to the Indigenous community; to promote the debate on the timeframe thesis in Law Schools of the main universities in Mato Grosso do Sul.
- Legally assist the cases.
- Schedule hearings with ministers and judges with the presence of Indigenous leaders, so that they can talk straight to the magistrates.
- Holding a seminar to discuss the timeframe with the presence of members of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, Federal Attorneys’ Offices and Indigenous leadership.
The proposed theme pervades the rights of indigenous peoples as defined in the Federal Constitution of 1988. Souza Lima (1991) and recently Eloy Amado (2014) analyzed the main obstacles to the demarcation of Indigenous lands in Brazil and Mato Grosso do Sul, respectively. The main obstacle to the demarcation of Indigenous territories was a) the judicialization of demarcations and b) the “development” model adopted by the Brazilian State, an option that does not contemplate the communities that are seen as hindering “development”. The issue of judicialization is striking in Mato Grosso do Sul and it became evident, after a preliminary survey made by the indigenous lawyer Luiz Henrique Eloy Amado in his doctoral thesis. In this survey, it is possible to ascertain the different ongoing lawsuits at the Federal Court of Mato Grosso do Sul, as well as the appeals filed before the Regional Federal Court of the 3rd Region, which is the second instance of jurisdiction. The judicialization is even more flagrant because of the actions that are processed in the Federal Supreme Court, which mission is to judge constitutional causes by admitting only exceptional or extraordinary actions. The problem posed is how to guarantee access to the traditional territories in the Brazilian judiciary system.
About the organization
NAJUP, the Legal Assistance Center for the People was created by indigenous and indigenist professionals from Mato Grosso do Sul who act in the defense of human rights, notably the right of indigenous peoples. The organization is deaded by the indigenous lawyer Luiz Henrique Eloy Amado and the MST (Landless Movement) lawyer, Anderson de Souza Santos, both founders of the center. Since 2012, it has worked on legal proceedings concerning the possession, ownership, and use of indigenous territories – Guarani, Kaiowá, Kinikinau and Terena – and in defense of Indigenous leaders who are criminalized due to the struggle for land. In the last four years, the center has contributed to at least 80 (civil and criminal) lawsuits and to the monitoring of approximately 150 lawsuits and administrative proceedings. As an advisor to the Indigenous movement in Mato Grosso do Sul, it took part in the Aty Guasu (Indigenous assemblies) and in the Terena Council. The center lawyers have also been performing a strategic role as assistant prosecutors in criminal cases involving leaders that were murdered due to land conflict, such as Nisio Gomes, Dorvalino Rocha, Dorival Benites, Xurite Lopes, Rolindo and Genivaldo Vera.
Strategic Litigation (2017)
Indigenous peoples' rights