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Brazil: Environmentalists And Church Protest Legalization Of Fraudulently Obtained Lands In The Amazon

LADB Article ID: 50780
Category/Department: Brazil
Date: 2009-08-07
By: LADB Staff

On June 25, 2009, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made one the most questioned decisions by environmentalists, Indians, the Catholic Church, and other civil-society groups in his entire six and a half years in office. On that date, Lula signed Medida Provisoria 458 (MP 458), which regulates how the federal government legalizes occupied lands in the Amazonia Legal. With Lula's signature, MP 458 became Lei 11.952 and was published in the Diario Oficial da Uniao on June 26. In practice, the MP legalizes the takeover of public areas in the Amazon that began during the 1964-1984 military regime, which promoted occupation of the region. This means that 67 million hectares an area the size of France and Italy will pass into the hands of rural landowners, mostly large landowners.

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