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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Brazil Landless Activists Target Notables Accused of Corruption

RIO DE JANEIRO – Members of Brazil’s MST Landless Workers Movement carried out occupations Tuesday of properties linked to high-profile figures accused of corruption, including President Michel Temer.

The mobilization focused on three estates, the MST said in a statement.

Before dawn, activists invaded an estate in the interior of Sao Paulo state whose owner of record is retired Col. Joao Baptista Lima, known to be a friend of Temer.

Calling Lima a front man, the MST said that the property actually belongs to the president, who recently became the first sitting Brazilian head of state to be charged with a criminal offense.

In Rio de Janeiro state, MST militants occupied land owned by Ricardo Teixeira, who was ousted as head of the CBF soccer federation and is wanted in Spain on corruption charges.

The third property, located in Mato Grosso state, belongs to Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi, a billionaire soy baron.

During his time in the Senate, Maggi pushed legislation that benefited his family’s business interests, according to the MST.

“Through the occupation of lands of Temer, of Minister Blairo Maggi and of Ricardo Teixeira, we want to expose the corrupt land barons who sustain the government,” MST said.

The MST, one of Brazil’s most powerful grassroots organizations, has spent decades pushing for agrarian reform, demanding that giant estates be broken up to provide plots for landless farmers.

The statement from MST also included a call for Temer to step down.

Lawmakers are set to vote next week on whether to allow Temer’s prosecution on charges he encouraged the payment of hush money to a potential witness in the massive corruption case centered on state oil company Petrobras.

 

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