News Release

Smoke Signal Monitor

On August 25th 2021, the Brazilian Supreme Court will rule on a case that can change the fate of Indigenous peoples in Brazil. As indigenous groups and allies from all regions in Brazil head to the capital Brasília to bring attention to the ruling, the Indigenous Rights Working Group of the U.S. Network for Democracy in Brazil – with support of Defend Democracy in Brazil Committee New York, Amazon Watch, Smoke Signal Monitor, UM/NAGIS, Grassroots International and Coletivo Por Um Brasil Democrático - LAinvite you to join Eloy Terena, legal coordinator of Articulation of Indigenous Peoples in Brazil (APIB), Sonia Guajajara, executive coordinator of Articulation of Indigenous Peoples in Brazil, Leonardo Crippa, senior attorney of the Indian Law Resource Center and Nick Estes, journalist, historian, citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, to discuss how international solidarity can contribute to stop the land theft and further destruction of ecosystems in Brazil that will affect all of humanity.

This event will address the Indigenous ancestral land rights at stake during the upcoming Brazil’s Supreme Court hearing on August 25; other damaging legislation under consideration; parallels with Native rights in the United States; and strategies for national and international mobilization and solidarity.

Webinar with simultaneous translation EN/PT. Register at

Indigenous land rights in Brazil : Strategies for advocacy and resistance webinar is to be livestreamed August 19 on YouTube and Facebook.

Indigenous land rights in Brazil : Strategies for advocacy and resistance webinar is to be livestreamed August 19 on YouTube and Facebook.


On August 25th 2021, the Brazilian Supreme Court will rule on a case that could change the fate of Indigenous peoples in Brazil. After living on and fighting for the right to their ancestral lands for centuries, Indigenous Peoples in Brazil are once again threatened by a legal theory called Marco Temporal, which has renewed potential to legalize the theft of their traditional territories.

The political and economic forces behind Marco Temporal aim to deny Indigenous peoples the right to any territories that were not occupied in 1988, when the Brazilian Constitution guaranteed them such rights. However, many Indigenous peoples had been displaced from their lands prior to that date and were fighting to recover/ go back to territories then.

Meanwhile, proposed legislation (PL-490) seeking to open Indigenous lands to industrial agriculture, mining, and other extractive activities, recently passed in Brazil’s lower chamber of Congress. Setting the scene for a struggle in the Senate.

Nearly half the Amazon’s intact forest is on Indigenous-held lands. In a context of rapidly increasing global warming, Brazil has a key role to play, and securing the land rights of Indigenous and other traditional communities is crucial to protecting forests and biodiverse ecosystems. Indigenous peoples are not only fighting settler colonialism. They are defending their very survival, while fighting for climate justice. They are protecting all of us, and life on planet Earth.

We invite you to join this urgent discussion and explore how international solidarity can help stop land grabbing and the destruction of ecosystems with the potential to impact all of humanity.

Register at

Who we are

Smoke Signal Monitor is a bilingual timeline on the Brazilian social and environmental crisis updated weekly, since its inception in 2018. Entries are curated by an independent editorial team, with information sourced and checked from news media, NGOs, social movements and government institutions. It operates as a living document for key stakeholders such as journalists, advocates, researchers and activists as well as a space to bear witness and fight disinformation and fake news.

There is a lot at stake, the consequences will be felt at a planetary scale. International pressure has been key to influence the Brazilian government and mitigating its disastrous environmental policies. We believe more people need to be involved. Help us amplifying this conversation. Follow us on twitter for daily updates and sign up for our newsletter. Access our channels in Portuguese on Instagram and Twitter

"As our team went through more than 800 publications and news about the Brazilian socio environmental crisis to build the Smoke Signal timeline, we were able to identify four patterns of the Bolsonaro’s administration: political and ideological interference in federal agencies and institutes to deregulate norms and silence opponents; systematic budget cuts and blocking expenditure of approved funds; lack of transparency regarding official data; and criminalization of the civil society and indigenous populations. Browsing through the two-year timeline and following the monitor’s weekly updates helps to understand that, with a ruralist caucus majority in Congress, Bolsonaro’s denialism is part of a rather sophisticated strategy to infiltrate the very structure of the State and consolidate his authoritarian project in Brazil. The dismantling of socio-environmental protections in Brazil continues. So does our monitoring..."

– Rebeca Lerer, São Paulo, Brazil, Smoke Signal Monitor founder and coordinator 

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