Land occupations in Brazil

Map of Brazil in green, with male and female peasants superimposed

Logo of Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST)

The Rural Landless Peasant Movement (MST) have organized three land occupations in Rio Grande do Sul State in the south of Brazil. The occupations came as a result of the federal and state governments failing to deliver the promised agrarian reform.

Landless families have occupied a large estate in Viamao. In Vacaria municipality nearly 400 landless families occupied land and another 200 people broke into a 320 hectare-plot of land in Sananduva.

Over a thousand MST peasants took part in the three occupations. They are demanding that the authorities, including the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA), keep their commitment of hand over land.

At a meeting with INCRA representatives and the local government in September, the MST leaders insisted that they keep to the terms of the agreement signed in April. MST refused end the protests until they are given guarantees that all the occupying families will be given land.

Families who are occupying the lands have begun to cultivate vegetables, with the help other settlements of the region.

There is another MST settlement near Viamao where nearly 250 families live. They produce rice and vegetables as a production cooperative.