It was only in 1988 – 100 years after the abolition of slavery – that the Brazilian Constitution recognized the existence and rights of contemporary quilombos for the first time. The 1988 Constitution guaranteed quilombo communities the right to own their collective territories.
Enforcing quilombola’s rights to their land is a huge challenge to this day. The first land title award was granted only seven years after the recognition of the right to land by the Federal Constitution. It was in November 1995, when the Quilombo Boa Vista (located in the Brazilian Amazon) became the owner of its territory.
Currently, only 181 quilombola territories are titled throughout Brazil. Moreover, 52 of them are only partially titled with the other portion of the territory still in the process of regularization.
1,719 land-titling processes of quilombola lands are pending before federal authorities. Process is slow; 44% of them have been opened for more than 10 years without completion. When titling is not assured, quilombolas are more vulnerable to disputes involving their territories and have less autonomy to plan their future.
Follow the evolution of the titles here (in Portuguese).