In stark contrast to the snail pace of Brazil’s judiciary branch concerning agrarian reform issues, Rio de Janeiro’s Justice Department has moved with speed after Rural Landless Workers Movement families occupied Santa Rosa farm, owned by former president of the Brazilian Football Confederation Ricardo Teixeira.
Early Tuesday morning, some 300 families participating in the MST’s National Struggle for Agrarian Reform occupied Teixeira’s property, according to the group’s website.
Judge Anna Luiza Campos Lopes Soares of Pirai District in the interior of the state of Rio de Janeiro, emitted an eviction order later in the day, stipulating that MST members had just three hours to abandon Santa Rosa farm.
Police have converged around the property, which, according to the MST, signals an imminent, forced removal.
The MST released a public statement addressing the Santa Rosa farm occupation. It reads, in part that despite the judicial branch’s dictate which calls for taking precautionary measures when “children and elderly people” are gathered collectively, the state has preferred to pursue a policy of land reintegration.
It also noted that the decision was made to occupy the property because it was the locale of money laundering associated with “sale contracts for a soccer match played by Brazil’s national team in 2008.”
In 2012, embroiled in a series of corruption accusations, including receiving bribes and practicing nepotism while president of CBF, Teixeira resigned as head of Brazil’s highest soccer governing body.
As part of its National Struggle for Agrarian Reform, the MST organized at least 10 simultaneous farmland occupations throughout Brazil. The movement also opposes land reform that eases restrictions on foreigners to own land in Brazil at the expense of poor families in irregular settlements.
One of the occupied farms, Esmeralda, located between the cities of Lucianopolis and Duartina in western Sao Paulo, appear to belong to senate-imposed president Michel Temer. Some 800 landless people took control of the land at 6 a.m. under the slogan “Corrupt (Elements) Give Us Back Our Land.”
“The objective of this action is to denounce the attack on the Brazilian Constitution promoted by the coup government of Michel Temer, both with the absurd provisional measures that have been destroying the rights of Brazilians, and their corrupt practices together with its allies,” Mercedes Zuliane, a national leader of the MST said.