[12/26/2005] Brazil's National Federation of Farm Workers Contests Government Figures

[12/26/2005] Contag contests the settlement numbers published by the MDA

Data published by the Ministry of Agrarian Development (MDA) – that 117.5 thousand families were settled in 2005 are contested by the National Confederation of Farm Workers (CONTAG). The organization claims that the number is no higher than 60 thousand.

According to the Secretary of Agricultural Policy of CONTAG, Paulo Caralo, the government counts the retaking of properties and land regularization in their target, which is unacceptable, because “land reform means new families on the land and new areas expropriated‿. In response, the MDA claims that the numbers are of families that were landless and now have land.

The Landless Workers Movement (MST) also expressed their dissatisfaction with the implementation of the Second National Plan for Land Reform (PNRA) that consists of settling 40 thousand families until the end of 2006. The government claims that 235 thousand were settled in three years; however the social movements present the number as roughly 110 thousand.

The rural movements also criticize the model of land reform adopted by the Ministry that concentrates the landless families in the northern region and does not contribute to breaking up the concentration of land in Brazil, which, according to them, is the main cause of violence in the rural areas.

From Brasília, the Agência Notícias do Planalto, Marina Mendes