arquivos dos protestos globais
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Brazil's landless penalised for protests

The world's most successful land-reform movement is being threatened by the Brazilian government.

Thursday, 28 March, 2002, 10:20 GMT
Brazil's landless penalised for protests

Protests were held against the jailing of MST members

By the BBC's Tom Gibb in Sao Paolo

The Brazilian Government says it will punish
those members of the Landless Peasant
Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores
Rurais Sem Terra) or MST, who have been
taking part in land occupations.

Officials say the protesters will be
excluded from receiving benefits
under the agrarian reform programme.

The announcement came after protesters
occupied a farm belonging to the family
of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso last

The landless movement, is
threatening to occupy land across Brazil in the
coming months to demand land reform.

But the government says it has already carried
out the largest land reform in contemporary


Agrarian Development Minister Raul Jungmann
said that in his eight years in office, the
government had given out more than 20m

But these figures are hotly disputed by the
MST, who say far less land has been given

Over the past 10 years, land disputes have led
to endemic violence in the countryside, with
several hundred landless protesters being

Mr Jungmann said that 16 MST leaders
arrested at the weekend for leading an
occupation of President Cardoso's family farm
were all recipients of land under the
government's programme, but they had now
been excluded.

The 16 are still in jail despite an earlier promise
from the government's agrarian ombudsman
that there would be no arrests if they left the
farm peacefully.

The ombudsman has since resigned, saying his
word was broken.

MST | Brasil | FMI/BM | AGP/PGA