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Brazil’s Land Reform: Landless and Government Dispute Number of Settled Families

The number of new families settled on the land in Brazil does not exceed 60,000 according to the secretary of Agrarian Policy of the Brazilian National Confederation of Agricultural Workers (Contag), Paulo Caralo.

He informed that the Contag, together with the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST), questions the figures announced by the government, which claims that 117,500 families were settled this year.

"The Contag, with its federations and unions, has over 140 thousand families living in camps throughout Brazil at present. Of these families, which are linked to the labor movement, only around 30 thousand were settled this year," he asserted.

According to the secretary, the government wants to count the reoccupation and legalization of lots towards its agrarian reform target.

"We disagree. The government has legalized many areas where workers have occupied the land for 10, 20, or 30 years – which we regard as important – but this can’t be counted as part of the agrarian reform target," he said.

He added: "For us, agrarian reform represents new families on the land, new areas expropriated."

Caralo acknowledged progress on the agrarian reform issue, but he regretted that the National Agrarian Reform Plan (PNRA) is not being implemented.

"We must recognize that there have been some advances – modest, but they exist – in the reorganization of the INCRA. But they still fall far short of what we need, which is to execute the PNRA in fact."

In a reply to a note issued on Thursday, December 22, by the MST, the Minister of Agrarian Development, Miguel Rossetto, affirmed that the government’s figures are indisputable.

"For us the criterion of truth is non-negotiable. There is no room to contest the quality of these figures. They correspond exactly to the number of families that went from the category of landless to landed," he insisted.

Agência Brasil

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  • Show Comments (2)

  • Guest

    Then now……every brazilian should kno
    …that when Rossetto says 2 + 2 equals 5, his numbers are indisputable !

    Whoaaa !

  • Guest

    Rossetto and his strange undisputable st
    On December 22,
    Rossetto and his undisputable numbers said :
    – 117500 families were settled in 2005, and 235000 during the last 3 years. The total representing 90 % of the Agrarian plan have been executed.
    BUT 235000 (true or not) dont represent 90 % of 400000 settlements promised before, during and after Lula election.Rossetto even reconfirmed the number during the last november MST rebellion in Brasilia.

    He also said : in 32 years of existence of the PNRA, 540000 families were settled and that in 3 years 35 % of the total numbers were done.
    Well, 35 % of 540000 doesnt equal to 235000 !!!!!!!!!

    He also forgot to recognize, for obvious reasons, that for 2005, the resettlement budget of the MST went from 1.7 billions Reais to below 1 billion on Lula’s own decision !

    Rossetto statistics are either trunked or no one should go to the school where he learned simple maths.

    INCRA will publish in January 2006 a list of all the beneficiaries. The MST says that the numbers includes old settlements , not only those of 2005. The MST is also requesting an audit of the INCRA list.

    Hopefully if the government is in good faith, will accept the requested audit !!!!

    I am afraid that the list will not be published as promised, for technical reasons government will pretext ! Smile…….

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