Activists surround central bank

Submitted by Anon on 6 December, 2004 - 9:31

More than 8,000 Brazilian landless activists surrounded the central bank on Thursday 25 November and threatened a big fight over land next year unless they get more public money to speed up land reform.

Joao Pedro Stedile, a leader of the Landless Workers Movement (MST), said peasants could stage more land occupations if President Lula da Silva did not earmark more funds to expropriate and redistribute unused farmland, as the Brazilian constitution demands.

Lula pledged to settle 400,000 families — or around 1.6 million people -- during his four-year term. After two years he has only created plots for 106,000 nearly families.

In April, the Landless Workers Movement staged its biggest wave of land occupations in five years, and Stedile said next year's could be even bigger.

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