Sao Paulo, Brazil, 26 April 2006 -- Before dawn on 26 April, members of the Landless Peasants Movement (MST) invaded an area of Fazenda Agril, a property belonging to Aracruz Celulose located on the border of the municipalities of Aracruz and Linhares in the northern part of the state of Espírito Santo.
The MST had invaded the same area on 26 September 2005, leaving the property on 25 October after the company obtained a court repossession order.
As during the first invasion, Aracruz is recurring to appropriate legal measures to reestablish its full property rights.
This is one more in a series of invasions of and demonstrations against Aracruz's property and installations carried out in the past few years by movements that demand land and protest against the activities of the Brazilian agribusiness sector and other causes. In most of the cases, such as this one, the attacks have been on productive land and are contrary to existing legislation. Besides the material damage to the company — which is one of the country's main producers and exporters of pulp — these acts result in damage to the environment and research that is being conducted.
Containing about 8700 hectares, 78% of Fazenda Agril is covered by environmental preservation areas. A total of 6800 hectares are set aside for this purpose, according to criteria established by the Brazilian Forestry Code and specific state legislation, including remnants of environmental important brushlands, among the last in the region. Another 1300 hectares are occupied by eucalyptus plantations owned by Aracruz, which has title to all of the property in question.