REPORT Nº 83/06 PETITION 555-01 ADMISSIBILITY COMMUNITIES IN ALCÂNTARA BRAZIL October 21, 2006 I. SUMMARY 1. On August 17, 2001, the Centre for Global Justice, the representatives of the Samucangaua, Iririzal, Ladeira, Só Assim, Santa Maria, Canelatiua, Itapera and Mamuninha Communities –all living within the same ethnic territory in Alcântara, in the state of Maranhão-, the Sociedade Maranhense de Direitos Humanos (SMDH – the Maranhão Human Rights Society); the Centro de Cultura Negra do Maranhão (CCN - the Maranhão Afro-Brazilian Cultural Center); the Associação das Comunidades Negras Rurais Quilombolas do Maranhão (ACONERUQ – Association of Rural Afro-Brazilian Quilombo Communities of Maranhão), the Federação dos Trabalhadores na Agricultura do Estado do Maranhão (FETAEMA – the Maranhão State Federation of Farm Workers) and Global Exchange, lodged a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the IACHR” or “the Commission”), against the Federative Republic of Brazil (hereinafter “Brazil” or “the State”). This petition alleges that the society and culture of the traditional communities of Alcântara are being destructured, and their right to property and to the land they occupy is being violated. The situation is the result of the establishment of the “Alcântara Launch Center”, being the Brazilian Government conducting an expropriation in that region to settle it, failing to give those communities definitive property titles. According to the petitioners, the facts in the case establish violations of the human rights protected under Articles 1.1, 8, 16, 17, 21, 22, 25 and 26 of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Convention” or “the American Convention”), and Articles VI, VIII, XII, XIII, XIV, XVII, XXII and XXIII of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (hereinafter “the Declaration”). 2. The Brazilian State argues that the IACHR should declare the petition inadmissible on the grounds of a failure to exhaust domestic remedies, as required under Article 46.1.a of the American Convention. It asserts that the petitioners still have an opportunity to win their cases in the domestic courts. The State adds that the welfare of the remaining quilomobo communities is a priority for the State, and a variety of administrative and legislative measures are being taken to that end. 3. After examining the petition, and pursuant to Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention, the Commission has decided to declare this petition admissible in relation to the alleged violations of Articles 1.1, 8, 16, 17, 21, 22, 24, 25 and 26 of the Convention, as well as Articles VI, VIII, XII, XIII, XIV, XVIII, XXII and XXIII of the American Declaration, in relation to the facts that occurred prior to September 25, 1992. The Commission has also decided to report this decision to the parties, to publish it and to include this report in its Annual Report to the OAS General Assembly. II. PROCESSING WITH THE COMMISSION 4. On August 20, 2001, the Commission received a request from the petitioners to establish the Commission’s competence to settle the present case. The IACHR forwarded the information received to the Brazilian State on August 28, 2001. 5. On November 28, 2001, the State sent its response to the petition lodged by the petitioners. 1

Select target paragraph3