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STF endorses measures to fight Covid-19 on indigenous lands

08/05/2020

The Plenary of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF), in Wednesday's session (08/05), ratified the injunction that determined the federal government to adopt measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the indigenous communities. The Justices have partially endorsed the injunction granted by Justice Luís Roberto Barroso in the Claim of Non-compliance with Fundamental Precept (ADPF) 709, in which the Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, along with six political parties (PSB, PSOL, PCdoB, Rede, PT, PDT), argue that there are flaws and omissions of the federal government in the fight against the coronavirus in indigenous villages.

The majority of Justices agreed with all the measures granted in the injunction by Justice Luís Roberto Barroso, rapporteur of ADPF, such as the creation of sanitary barriers and a situation room, the removal of invaders and the presentation of a confrontation plan. In Monday's session (08/03), Barroso had voted for full ratification of the injunction, in which only the request for immediate disintrusion was denied, as he understood that the invaders should be removed only after a plan gets produced by the Union.

Health barriers and situation room

According to the Court's unanimous understanding, there is a need to create sanitary barriers, due to the vulnerability of indigenous people, who must remain isolated to ensure greater protection. The Justices also converged on the situation room, emphasizing that, in times of great catastrophe, all sectors involved, including indigenous representatives, must act together, in compliance with the principle of efficiency.

Removal of invaders

The most sensitive point of the ADPF was the issue of the removal of the invaders. The Court considered the illegality of the occupations, but noted the need for action protocols. The majority voted along the rapporteur's vote, for the elaboration of a plan of disintrusion so that, later, the removal of the invaders would occur.

Operational infrastructure

Justice Alexandre de Moraes, who fully followed the rapporteur's vote, stressed that the disintrusions should be carried out by the Federal Police with the help of the local Military Police and a larger support structure, formed by social workers, psychologists, doctors and nurses who are currently mobilized in the fight against the pandemic. "There is a pre-police work to direct the people who invaded there," he said. According to him, the removal of invaders needs an operational infrastructure, with the establishment of action protocols, hence the importance of a plan.

EC/CR//CF - CG/FB/GL

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