Data from Brazil’s National Agrarian Auditor’s Office indicate a 47% increase in land invasions in 2004 in comparison with 2003. 327 invasions occurred last year, as against 222 the year before. Just in the month of April, 2004, 109 properties were invaded all across the country.
According to the Office’s tally for 2004, the Northeast was the region with the largest number of invasions: 134. The state that led the list was Pernambuco, with 76.
In second place among regions was the Southeast, with 97. In this region, São Paulo was the state with the largest number: 49.
The other regions were far less affected: 9 invasions in the North, 48 in the Center-West, and 29 in the South.
A tally compiled by the Ministry of Agrarian Development suggests that, between 1995 and 2004, the rhythm of land occupations in Brazilian has undergone constant oscillations. The record was set in 1999, when 509 invasions occurred.
From 1999 to 2002, the annual total fell to 103 occupations, a decrease of over 100%. The index rose somewhat in 2003, when 222 invasions were registered. The figure for 2003 is the fifth analyzed by the Ministry in the historical series initiated in 1995.
The president of the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra), Rolf Hackbart, and the governor of Goiás, Marconi Perillo, signed an agreement February 22 in the city of Goiânia to allocate US$ 27 million (72 million reais) to settle families of landless rural workers in the state.
“The purpose of the agreement is to acquire land and execute infrastructure projects on agrarian reform settlements,” Hackbart informed.
According to him, the federal government will contribute US$ 23 million (60 million reais), and the state government, the rest.
Hackbart said that Incra estimates there are over 8 thousand families bivouacked in Goiás waiting to be settled and that this year’s goal is to settle 3,000 families.
Translation: David Silberstein
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