The Struggle for Land in Brazil

Rural Violence Continues

This report focuses on the chronic problem of impunity in Brazil in the context of the struggle over land use and agrarian reform. It highlights four states and concludes that impunity—or government failure to enforce criminal laws, permitting and encouraging further criminal behavior in the context of the struggle for land—exists in these regions and throughout Brazil. In light of the June 1992 United Nations conference on the environment in Rio de Janeiro, Americas Watch hopes to emphasize the relation between the degradation of the environment and the parallel degradation of human rights. The marginalized subsistence farmers confront the same enemy that faces the environmentalists: the large landowners who want no government interference in their use of land, certainly do not want to have portions of their enormous domains confiscated for agrarian reform, and are in part responsible for many of the human rights abuses currently taking place.

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