Case Studies Archive

Yanomami Indian Case (Brazil)

Resolution No. 12/85

The Inter-American Commission found that Brazil violated Articles 1, 8, and 9 of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man by constructing a highway and allowing mining in traditional Yanomami territory, resulting in the introduction of diseases causing considerable death, notwithstanding a law giving ownership and exclusive rights of the territory to the indigenous people. Articles 1, 8, and 11 of the American Declaration recognize the right of American peoples to life, movement and residence, and preservation of health and well-being, respectively. The Commission recommended that Brazil take preventative and curative measures regarding the health of the tribe, demarcate the boundaries of the Yanomami property, and carry out educational, medical, and social integration programs with the consultation of the tribe.