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Brazil Court Rules in Favor of Indigenous Groups in Land Dispute

Indians walk past a statue of justice as they protest outside the Supreme Court, in Brasilia, Brazil, Aug. 16, 2017. Brazil's indigenous communities protested as the Supreme Court deliberated on the legality of President Michel Temer's plan to restrict land titles awarded to the communities.

Brazil's top court ruled Wednesday against a state that sought federal compensation for the lands of two indigenous reserves.

The ruling was a defeat for groups trying to limit land claims by indigenous peoples, who argue their way of life has increasingly come under attack by the administration of President Michel Temer.

The large state of Mato Grosso on the border with Bolivia had argued that the two reserves were created in the 1960s on state lands.

In an 8-0 decision, the Supreme Federal Tribunal disagreed, saying the land actually was owned by the federal government.

The decision went against a recommendation Temer approved last month.