Can two wrongs make a right?

Indian children from Xavantes attend a fight ritual at Maraiwatsede tribe in Mato Grosso, about 375 miles (600 km) northwest of Brasilia, February 5, 2013. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
Indian children from Xavantes attend a fight ritual at Maraiwatsede tribe in Mato Grosso, about 375 miles (600 km) northwest of Brasilia, February 5, 2013. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

The Xavante tribe  are back, fifty years after they were evicted from their  land. The government have recently  redressed the  injustice done to this community  by returning  them to their ancestral land.

Ironically,  the farmers who were once encouraged by the government to settle and farm this land, have themselves been evicted to make way for the reservation. Understandably they are protesting about the lack of consultation, disregard for land ownership certificates and unfair compensation.

These are the familiar protests of the victims of ‘land grabbing’. A term that describes the unjust and often illegal appropriation of land. Yet another name for the theft that finds it way into all areas that have a potential commercial interest, be it farming, mineral extraction or the urban development that is taking place in Rio de Janeiro.

Wherever it happens, the victims are typically, those least able to defend their rights through the over bureaucratic and often corrupt civil courts.  A good starting place might be to reform and uphold a just system for establishing and protecting the property rights of everyone?

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