La Via Campesina puts up tents of black plastic in front of the FAO Conference

On Tuesday morning around one thousand farmers, members of La Via Campesina, began a march from Harmony Park toward Catholic University where the FAO Conference on Agrarian Reform is being held. In front of the university, the rural workers put up tents of black plastic to symbolize the 200,000 families that live in the Landless camps in Brazil. We want to show that the propaganda of the Federal Government about Agrarian Reform is not true. The settlements in Brazil have come to a halt and the policy of the World Bank on land does not resolve the people’s problem," explains Adelar Pretto, of the MST state leadership.
The Ministry of Agrarian Development (MDA) and the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) are claiming a record number of families settled in Brazil. The MDA states that 127,000 families were settled in 2005, but a study already showed that only 21% of the families were settled on land that was expropriated or purchased.  To arrive at this number, the government of President Lula counted already-existing settlements, cases in which lots were exchanged or ownership was regularized, among other practices that do not characterize a true policy of Agrarian Reform.