The author (relator) of a Brazil’s Parliamentary Investigative Commission report on Land Conflicts (Comissão Parlamentar Mista de Inquérito (CPMI) da Terra), deputy João Alfredo (P-SOL, Ceará state), has sent a copy of his report, which was rejected by the CPI, to Hina Jilani, the UN special representative for human rights.
Alfredo’s report, among other things, called for strengthening the Land Reform Institute (Incra), but was voted down because it was seen by some members of the CPI as interfering with land property rights.
"The report was sent to the UN because it deals with the problems of private militias [run by landowners] and the [right wing] União Democrática Ruralista (UDR), along with the defenders of land reform who face death threats. It seeks to get the government to take action and protect the weak from the stronger," explained deputy João Alfredo.
On the same day that Alfredo’s report was rejected, another report, written by deputy Alberto Lupion (PFL, Paraná), was approved in the CPI by a vote of 12 to 1.
It proposes a law that would classify land invasions as acts of terrorism. The Landless Rural Worker Movement (MST) regularly promotes land invasions by its members to pressure for land reform in Brazil.
Alfredo attacked the approved report, saying it did not reflect the reality in the Brazilian countryside or present a solution for the country’s agrarian problems.
"On the contrary," said Alfredo, "by making the activities of a social movement criminal activities it just makes the conflict more acute and maintains privileges."
After receiving the report, Hina Jilani declared that she was sorry it had been rejected. She pointed out that the UN Declaration of Human Rights protects social movements. "There has to be a right to protest and it must be protected," she said.
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