200 Landless Families Invade Brazilian Farm Belonging to Paper Company

Under renewed pressure from the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST), the Idaph, Brazil’s Forest Institute is studying the case of Aracruz to see if the company is the legal owner of a land they use.

Once again the MST has invaded land occupied in the state of Espí­rito Santo, in the Brazilian Southeast, by Aracruz Celulose, a large paper company.

The Idaph says it is looking into the history and documents of the area, known as Fazenda Agril, where Aracruz grows eucalyptus trees for use in its paper mills.

In a note, Aracruz says it will file a complaint to get a court order for the removal of the MST invaders because they are causing "material, environmental and scientific damage."

Some 200 families, part of the Landless Rural Worker Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem-Terra) (MST) have once again moved into a rural property known as Fazenda Agril, located in Vila do Riacho, state of Espí­rito Santo, which belongs to one of Brazil’s biggest paper manufacturers, Aracruz Celulose.

The company grows eucalyptus trees in the Fazenda Agril, which covers an area of 8,900 hectares.

Members of the MST first occupied the area in September 2005, at which time the local authorities made an agreement to look into the question of who really owns the area and provide an answer in 30 days.

The MST claims that the land has two problems: it may belong to the government (meaning it is public land) and parts are unoccupied and unused (devoluta), which makes it eligible for expropriation and future use as a settlement area for landless rural workers as part of government land reform projects..

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