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The Process of De-Constitution of Indigenous Rights in Brazil

The National Constituent Assembly that took place in Brazil in 1987 and 1988 was the scene of conceptual disputes over worldviews in various areas. With regard to Indigenous rights, the debate resulted in Chapter VIII of the current Brazilian Constitution, whose articles are considered the theoretical foundations of a paradigmatic shift. Before 1988, Indigenous people were considered civilly incapable, protected by the state and their territorial guarantees were precarious. Today indigenous people are considered fully capable and subjects of rights over the lands they traditionally occupy. The advent of the Federal Constitution boosted the demarcation of Indigenous lands, but it went beyond that. With the demarcations also came a reaction from conservative sectors of society opposed to the lands protected in Chapter VIII of the Constitution. The symbolic and economic power of these sectors has led to a process of deconstitution of Indigenous territorial rights that can be described by analyzing the fundamental arguments incessantly rehashed since the National Constituent Assembly, as if they had not already been the subject of debate and voting.

December 6, 3 pm

Online event