CAFOD welcomes decision of Brazilian Supreme Court recognising rights of indigenous people

Catholic charity CAFOD has welcomed a recent Brazilian Supreme Court ruling in favour of a case brought by Indigenous Peoples to reject time restrictions on claiming rights to their ancestral land.

On Friday 22nd September the long legal battle in the Brazilian Supreme Court came to an end. The Supreme Court’s decision affirms the protection of the Constitution and the fundamental rights of indigenous people.

“This overturning is a landmark moment for the indigenous people of Brazil, and we stand with them in their joy and relief that this day has finally arrived,” said Fergus Conmee, CAFOD’s Director of International Programmes.

“Pope Francis has frequently spoken of the indigenous people’s good stewardship of the land, of biodiversity, of the rivers, and for years we have campaigned with our partners to put an end to this unjust ruling, which posed such a grave threat to indigenous communities.

“I was in the Amazon in July this year, meeting with indigenous human right defenders who fight daily to protect their land from encroachment and destruction. I hope this news will galvanise other indigenous groups who are enduring similar battles.

“We will continue to support the rights of indigenous people and urge government leaders in Brazil, and around the world, to recognise their ancestral rights and the role they play in protecting many biomes, like the Amazon rainforest, which are key to fight climate change and to protect our common home.”


  1. CAFOD is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and part of Caritas International. CAFOD works in more than forty countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.