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Brazil: Supreme Court backs Indians in land dispute / Austria: Convicted father gets life in psychiatric ward / Afghanistan: Taliban critic killed in blast / Somalia: Bin Laden slams Somali president

March 20, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Brazil's Supreme Court sided with Amazonian Indians in a land dispute that turned violent last year when authorities tried to evict rice farmers from a government-decreed reservation.

The court ruling upholds the 4.2-million-acre Raposa Serra do Sol reservation for 18,000 Indians who lay claim to their ancestral land, despite a few large-scale farmers who also occupy the territory in the northernmost reaches of the Amazon jungle bordering Venezuela.

Although the ruling solidifies Indian rights, detractors said it did nothing to prevent another violent outbreak.

"There is no peaceful solution," Nelson Itikawa, president of the Roraima Rice Growers Assn., told the government's Agencia Brasil news service. "It's possible there will be a conflict -- there are people who will lose control."

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