5.
In a communication dated March 25, 2010, the petitioners submitted additional
observations on the merits. This communication was transmitted to the State on April 20, 2010 for it to
submit its additional observations on the merits within three months, under Article 37.1 of the Rules then in
force. The State submitted additional observations on the merits in a communication dated September 6,
2010, which was duly forwarded to the petitioners. The petitioners submitted additional information on
November 24, 2010 and March 21, 2011, which were duly transmitted to the State. The State, submitted
additional information on January 13, 2011 and June 3, 2011, which were duly forwarded to the petitioners.
6.
In parallel with the processing of the original petition and of the case 12.728, on October 16,
2002 – the same date the petition was filed– the petitioners requested precautionary measures to guarantee
the life and personal integrity of the head of the Xucuru indigenous people, Marcos Luidson de Araújo
(“Cacique Marquinhos”) and his mother, Zenilda Maria de Araújo, for alleged death threats received by both.
On October 29, 2002 the IACHR granted precautionary measures (“MC-372-02”) in favor of Cacique
Marquinhos and Zenilda Maria de Araújo, and requested the State to adopt all necessary measures to protect
the personal integrity and life of the beneficiaries and immediately initiate a serious and thorough
investigation regarding the alleged facts that gave rise to the precautionary measures. These measures
remain in effect as of the date of approval of this report.
III.

POSITION OF THE PARTIES

A.

Petitioners

7.
The petitioners state that the Xucuru indigenous people, as the Commission has noted in its
Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Brazil (1997), is composed by approximately 6,000 people who
for over a century, at least since the Paraguayan War (1864-1870), have been fighting for the recognition of
their ancestral lands. They indicate that, despite this, the process of demarcation of the Xucuru indigenous
territory did not begin until the late 1980s, following pressure from the people headed by their then chief,
Cacique Xicão, "in a context of general insecurity". They point out that such context was marked by the
murder of indigenous leaders and defenders of their rights, including Cacique Xicão, as well as by threats and
the attempted murder against his son and successor, Cacique Marquinhos2.
8.
Regarding the administrative process of demarcation of the Xucuru indigenous territory and
indigenous lands in general, the petitioners argue that it comprises five phases, culminating in the
registration of the indigenous land 3. Furthermore, they indicated that according to the process "if the
presence of outsiders in the indigenous land is verified, their removal will be executed as a matter of
priority."
9.
According to the petitioners, the lands traditionally occupied by indigenous belong to the
Union; that the indigenous peoples’ original right to their ancestral lands is formally recognized; and they are
guaranteed permanent "possession" of those lands through an administrative process of demarcation of
indigenous lands. The petitioners add that the right of indigenous peoples to the "possession" of their
ancestral lands and the aforementioned demarcation process are recognized and regulated in Brazil through
the "Statute of the Indigenous" (Estatuto do Indio) - Law 6.001 of September 19, 1973, the Federal
Constitution of 1988 and, in the case of the lengthy administrative proceeding relating to the Xucuru
indigenous territory, of Decrees No. 94.945 of 1987, 22 of 1991 and 1.775 of 1996.
According to this context, the petitioners stated that "the continued presence of non-indigenous people in the Xucuru lands originated a
situation of tension and insecurity." The petitioners note that each time the process had a significant advance or, paradoxically, suffered a
setback, tension raged between Xucuru indigenous and non-indigenous people present on the indigenous lands. This, to the petitioners,
resulted in the deaths of important indigenous leaders: José Everaldo Rodrigues Bispo, son of the spiritual leader of the people, on
September 4, 1992; Geraldo Rolim, FUNAI representative and active defender of indigenous people, on May 14, 1995; and finally the
village chief, Cacique Xicão, on May 21, 1998.
3 As alleged by the petitioners, the administrative process of demarcation of indigenous lands includes the following steps: i)
identification and delimitation; ii) the response from interested parties; iii) decision of the Minister of Justice; iv) Approval by decree of
the President of the Republic; and v) registration of the indigenous land.
2

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