MST CPI will discuss law that Tarcísio uses to benefit large landowners

Friday, June 16, 2023
Info Source: 
By Caroline Oliveira | From Brasil de Fato | Editor: Nicolau Soares |

Governor gave discounts of up to 90% on the sale of vacant lands occupied irregularly

The Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) of the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST) approved the summoning of the executive director of the Land Institute Foundation of the State of São Paulo (Itesp), Guilherme Piai, as a witness.

The request was made by federal deputy Luciene Cavalcante (PSOL-SP) to elucidate issues related to agreements for the sale of vacant lands to farmers in the state of São Paulo.

During the hearing, government base deputies should raise the regularization process of vacant lands accelerated by the government of Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicans). Properties were sold at discounts of up to 90%, based on Law 17,557, of July 2022, which instituted the State Land Regularization Program.

São Paulo legislation provides for the regularization of vacant lands, which are public areas illegally occupied and which have never had a destination defined by the State. The program came into force during the administration of former governor Rodrigo Garcia (PSDB), but it started to be effective only in the current government.

Federal deputy Luciene Cavalcante stated that Piai needs to explain the sales of public lands “at a bargain price.” “The president of Itesp needs to explain at the CPI what is behind the agrarian reform for the rich in the state of São Paulo. He needs to explain the rush to put into practice the law that tries to regularize the grabbing of vacant lands by large landowners,” he said.

Land concentration and income

In a video that circulates on social networks, Piai says that it is necessary to streamline the sale process while the law is still in force. “Now there is a political issue, which is also beyond Itesp’s purview, that this law has a great chance of falling.”

The Federal Supreme Court (STF) analyzes a direct action of unconstitutionality (ADI 7326) filed by the Workers Party (PT) in December 2019, in which the acronym argues that the legislation “promotes income concentration and accentuates obscene Brazilian socioeconomic inequality, so that it opposes the objectives of building a free, fair and solidary society; ensure sustainable development (considering the negative impacts of inequality on the development of countries), eradicate poverty and marginalization, and reduce social and regional inequalities.”

“The mere facilitation of the transfer of public lands to middle and high-income people – permitted by the provisions of State Law No. 17.5557/22 – also violates the fundamental objectives of the Federative Republic of Brazil, listed in art. 3, I to III, of the Constitution of the Republic,” argued the PT in the ADI.

So far, the value of the properties targeted by agreements made by Itesp is around R$ 64 million. The value of the discounts, in turn, is equivalent to approximately R$ 50 million. This means that, in practice, the new owners would only have to pay R$ 14 million.