Impunity in Brazil: 1,349 Rural Workers Killed and Only 15 Convictions

The final report of Brazil’s Joint Parliamentary Investigatory Commission (CPMI) on the Land points to landholding concentration as one of the chief causes of rural violence.

According to the document, 2.6% of the listed rural properties account for slightly over half the country’s total occupied area.

The commission’s rapporteur, deputy João Alfredo, from the PSOL party of Ceará state, mentions other causes as well, such as foot-dragging in the agrarian reform process; inactivity on the part of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches; and impunity.

According to data from the Catholic Church’s Land Pastoral Commission (CPT), presented in the report, 1,349 rural workers were murdered in the two decades between 1985 and 2004, and only 15 authors of these killings received court convictions.

Besides presenting a diagnosis of the rural situation, the report, which is over 700 pages long, makes 150 recommendations, such as the creation of federal agrarian auditor’s offices in the states to stimulate decentralized efforts at conflict prevention, and the allocation of sufficient budget resources to fulfill the goals of the National Agrarian Reform Plan.

The CPMI on the Land was installed in December, 2003, and functioned for nearly two years. Testimony was heard from 125 people, including workers, landowners, researchers, and representatives of associations, government organs, and civil society, and around 75 thousand pages of reports, investigations, and legal processes were analyzed.

Agência Brasil

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