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Amnesty urges Brazil to solve Indian land disputes

August 9, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The head of human rights watchdog Amnesty International says Brazil’s indigenous communities are suffering serious human rights abuses on a daily basis and is calling on the government to swiftly demarcate Indian lands.

Salil Shetty called the land issue a “time bomb” and said he had urged immediate action in talks earlier this week with the justice and human rights ministers.

Land disputes between indigenous tribes and farmers, loggers and miners often turn deadly. Twelve Indian leaders have been killed in the past year in the conflict-ridden state of Mato Grosso do Sul alone, Shetty said.

Brazil’s 1988 Constitution enshrined tribes’ right to have their traditional lands demarcated and returned to them, but many have experienced long delays.

Friday is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

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