The Slow Process of Reintegrating Brazil’s Quilombolas

“Quilombos,” communities formed by descendants of ex-slaves, were once the symbol of resistance in the struggle to abolish slavery in Brazil. Today, the remnants of these groups are fighting for the regularization of their lands and the preservation of their culture.

The territories belonging to the “quilombolas” [the designation for inhabitants of “quilombos”] were first recognized in Article 68 of the 1988 Federal Constitution, which assigns the State the obligation to issue deeds.


In November, 2003, Decree 4887 encharged the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) with the implementation of property regularization measures for what was left of the quilombos and guaranteed the possibility of expropriating privately owned lands for this purpose.


The decree assures these communities ownership of the land and access to health, education, and sanitation. But the demarcation process continues to be slow. Through 2003, only 42 communities managed to obtain deeds to their lands.


The president of the INCRA, Rolf Hackbart, explains that the delay is due to the judicial process. The INCRA must identify, demarcate, and entitle the lands.


This involves anthropological research to recognize and measure areas, as well as removing non-quilombolas from lands they occupy. Most of the time this leads to court battles.


In accordance with the decree, it is up to the Palmares Cultural Foundation to register the communities’ claims.


They pronounce themselves survivors, and the Foundation lists them and issues a certificate. The communities then direct themselves to the INCRA to initiate proceedings to obtain deeds to the land.


Approximately 300 communities are currently registered with the Foundation. It is estimated that there are over 4 thousand communities of quilombolas in Brazil.


The Foundation has contributed boats to fishing communities, tractors to farming communities, and sewing machines to communities that work with handcrafts.


This year the Palmares Foundation will spend US$ 440 thousand (1.2 million reais) on its projects with the quilombos.


Translation: David Silberstein
Agência Brasil

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

American Bell Micro Buys Brazil’s Net Storage

Bell Microproducts, Inc., an provider of a wide range of high technology storage products, ...

Food and Fuel Stir Up Inflation in Brazil

December’s inflation in Brazil as measured by the Broad Consumer Price Index (IPCA) amounted ...

They Are a Brazilian Ensemble, But You Wouldn’t Know by Their Middle-Eastern Sounds

Six musicians from the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais decided to bring the ...

Brazil Varig Airline’s Logo Turns Orange, Its New Owner’s Colors

Brazil's once flagship airline has very little of its past glory left. Now, it ...

Brazil and India Cold to G8’s One-Month Deadline for WTO Negotiations

Leaders of the Group of Eight major industrial countries meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia ...

Brazil Goes Beyond Self Sufficient to 2.3 Million Oil Barrels a Day

Brazil’s government owned Petrobras averaged during October oil and gas production of 2.343.451 barrels ...

Frontpage of Folha de S. Paulo shows damage from Israeli air attack in Lebanon

A View from Brazil: Israeli Attacks Are a Crime Against Humankind and Democracy

Another Brazilian Air Force jet reaches the homeland carrying wearied vacationers turned war refugees. ...

Brazil’s Vote-Buying Inquiry Gets Two New Reporters from Opposition

The reporter of the Joint Parliamentary Investigation Commission (CPMI) on Vote-Buying in Brazil, federal ...

Brazil Expecting a US$ 37 Billion Surplus in 2005

Over the last twelve months, Brazil exported US$ 39.875 billion more than it imported. ...

Beer at Stadiums for 2014 World Cup? It’s Illegal, FIFA Wants It. Brazil Is Divided

While the World Cup gets nearer and nearer, the dispute between the Brazilian government ...