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News > Brazil

Brazilian Landless Workers Occupy Farms in Rio Grande and Bahia

  • Workers occupy Ferbasa in the Chapada Diamantina region, Bahia, Brazil, May 2, 2023.

    Workers occupy Ferbasa in the Chapada Diamantina region, Bahia, Brazil, May 2, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @freitas6388

Published 3 May 2023

They occupied abandoned, unproductive lands to establish camps where their families can make a home and grow food.

On Tuesday, Brazil's Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) occupied the Companhia de Ferro das Ligas da Bahia (FERBASA), a mining company located in the city of Maracas.


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The occupation of this company's offices took place days after hundreds of rural families were evicted from a FERBASA property in the municipality of Planaltino on April 27.

At the end of March, landless rural workers camped in that property trying for the third time to have a permanent place of residence in an area that the employers had abandoned.

Abraao Brito, the MST speaker in the region of Chapada Diamantina, explained that the landless workers occupied the FERBASA headquarters to demand a permanent solution to their housing problems through a meeting with state and federal authorities.

In 2017, FERBASA agreed to give working families a few hectares of land so they can have a home and grow food. That commitment, however, was never fulfilled.

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According to the newspaper Brasil de Fato, FERBASA rejected the occupation of its headquarters and described the actions of the landless workers as "unilateral", arguing that the company has been in dialogue with the MST to definitively resolve the problem.

Earlier, on the weekend before International Workers' Day, the MST activists also occupied three large farms in Rio Grande do Norte and one farm in Bahia.

In April 29, some 130 landless families occupied the Boa Esperanca farm in the city of Boa Vista do Tupim in the Chapada Diamantina region. Similar to the FERBASA case, this 1,300-hectare farm has remained abandoned for 18 years without being used productively.

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