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Traditional riverside community won its collective land title

The traditional riverside community Brejeira Salto, located in the rural area of ​​Bom Jesus in Piauí, has won its collective land title. The granting of collective territory by the Instituto de Terras do Piauí is a very important achievement for communities claiming the right to land in the region.

“I hope that from now on the community has peace, we can live in peace and be happy in our territory. Let the land grabbing end, let no one appear to burn our houses, let no one arrive to expel us. We don't even have words to explain the enormity of this happiness”, comments Regina S., a resident of the newly titled community.

The victory is the result of the organization of the Collective of Communities Impacted by Agribusiness, created by rural communities in the Cerrado of Piauí to resist land grabbing and the advance of agribusiness monocultures. The Pastoral Land Commission and the Social Network for Justice and Human Rights and the Association of Rural Workers Lawyers (AATR) have denounced these impacts in support of communities.

There is hope! Altamiran Ribeiro, coordinator of the CPT in the Diocese of Bom Jesus-PI, believes that the victory guarantees protection against the impacts caused by the company SLC Agrícola, which prevented the community's right to land. For Ribeiro, the achievement is directly linked to the mobilization of women in the community of Salto, as "they were the ones who most mobilized for collective entitlement".

Fábio T. Pitta, a researcher at the Social Network for Justice and Human Rights, observes that the region has been the target of land speculation by international financial companies and by local land grabbers who appropriate the communities' land to facilitate the advancement of agribusiness. “Collective titling will be essential for communities to protect their ways of life and their food production, against the social and environmental destruction of agribusiness,” says Pitta.

For Maurício Correia, popular lawyer for the AATR, the collective title of the traditional territory of Salto is an important step to contain the devastation of the Cerrado in the southern region of Piauí, as it is the indigenous and traditional communities who best preserve and know how to use and live together with the biome. "It is essential that other communities have access to this right, within a reasonable time, as land grabbing processes have been accelerated, including the overlapping of legal reserves of agribusiness large estates in these territories, through the Rural Environmental Registry", says the lawyer.

The Salto community is located in the epicenter of the Cerrado region that makes up Matopiba, on the border between the states of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia. Hundreds of traditional communities, Indigenous and Quilombolas, who have lived in the region for hundreds of years, have suffered violence with the advance of agribusiness, which generates land grabbing and environmental destruction. Communities suffer from repression, destruction of their food production, evictions, burning houses, death threats, in addition to deforestation, contamination of water and air by pesticides.

The recent victory in Salto comes a few months after the recognition of the Indigenous territory of the Kariri People of Serra Grande, in the municipality of Queimada Nova, PI. The articulation of traditional, Indigenous and Quilombola communities has been fundamental to guarantee the right to land in the region and environmental protection for future generations.

Featured photo: José Cícero da Silva/Public Agency

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