Terra de Direitos
Since 2006, by means of a contract with the Ministry of the Cities, Terra de Direitos has coordinated actions for the sustainable landholding regularization of the Eldorado, Sete de Setembro, Nova Conquista and Esperança townships located in the Moradias Sabará district on the outskirts of Curitiba (PR).
The project, which is called “Law and Citizenship”, comprises social and legal actions undertaken in partnership with diverse actors such as Ambiens Cooperative Society, Federal University of Paraná, Positivo University and the Paraná Regional Social Services Council, among others.
Collective adverse possession lawsuits are strategic and a court ruling in favour creates emblematic jurisprudence for the requirements/procedures of these class actions. Court rulings of this kind are still rare in Brazil and even more so in Curitiba. Moreover, the sluggishness nature of the proceedings and clinging to formalisms reflects the Judiciary’s difficulty in ruling on class actions and making public policies effective when the responsible entity fails to do so.
For Sebastião, who is now retired and who signed a contract with the government housing company (COHAB) in 1994 and finished paying for his plot of land in the year 2000, this long delay does not make sense. “When I finished paying, the company alleged that I would have to wait for all the residents to finish paying as well before it would issue my title deeds”, he recalls, complaining about COHAB’s sluggishness and negligence in relation to the population for all these years. “We are the ones who put in the infrastructure, their part of the obligations has not got beyond the paper they are written on.”
The organization accompanies lawsuits, as well as administrative cases via the Public Prosecutor’s Office, dealing with landholding regularization of the area, in addition to providing legal aid to the residents’ associations.