Land Grants Become Land Bomb for Dilma

“Tomorrow, President Lula will officially deliver land rights to the residents of the Ivaporunduva community, a quilombola (Maroon community) in Eldorado Paulista, in inland São Paulo. The event will have a festive tone, despite the controversy and increasing tensions involving the borders of Maroon communities – one of the thorny issues of social liability that will be left to Rousseff.

The land title to be delivered, in a symbolic fashion, yet in force since May, covers an area of 6,670 acres, where 70 families live in a very traditional community, whose origins date back to the 17th century. It’s a small part of a large problem: it’s part of group of 113 titled quilombolas, within a total of 3,524 identified communities, according to data fro the Secretary of Racial Equality – all of them interested in titles.

According to the estimate by the newspaper Estado de S. Paulo, if all of the identified communities were attended to, the government would have to give land titles to over 21,000,000 acres – the equivalent of almost twice the state of Rio de Janeiro. It’s a conservative estimate, based on the average number of titles that have already been expedited, totaling over 2,400,000 acres, benefiting 11,506 families.

In the calculation, exceptional cases were excluded, including large pieces of granted land in Pará and the Quilombo Kalunga, in the hinterland of Goiás – the largest ever settled. They make up 6,251,000 acres, belonging to 600 families.” – Exame (in PT)