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Access to the land: quilombolas question the Brazilian State at the CIDH


The National Coordination of Quilombola Rural Black Communities (CONAQ) and Terra de Direitos organization filed, on the morning of wednesday (21), a complaint to the Organization of American States (OEA) on the situation of vulnerability and oppression in which the quilombola communities in Brazil on the grounds of the non-titling of their ancestral lands.

The document, addressed to the representatives of the inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the OEA, stressed that the oppression of the black people “has not ended with the formal and inconclusive abolition of slavery in Brazil in 1888,” and, therefore, the quilombola communities are still subjected to a context of racial oppression.

Rescuing this context from the importance of access to the land and the history of the quilombola communities of Brazil, the representation points out the challenges to the practical realization of the quilombola constitutional right and asks whether the Brazilian State, specifically through the Executive Power, has undertaken any strategic planning to cope with the demand by the titration and if there is an interest or if it is carrying out changes in the Federal Decree n° 4887/03.

The complaint to the OEA is part of the quilombola special series In the race and in the colorproject that wants to make visible the struggle and the resilience of quilombola communities in Brazil through a discussion of territoriality, race, and gender.

>> Read the  quilombola series’ manifest In the race and in the color

Constitutional law and concentration of land  

The distance between the abstraction of the legal norm and the effective application of this right is reflected in the comparison of the data of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) on the titling, where it is observed that titled quilombola lands correspond to 0.00063% of Total of agricultural establishments in Brazil.

However, considering that each titling process in the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) would represent an agricultural establishment, the 1536 open processes will represent, if titled, 0.029% of the total agricultural establishments in the country.

In other words, the total number of communities currently titled is insignificant compared to the total number of agricultural establishments in the country. Even if all of the communities that we currently expect for the realization of the right to land are titled, the amount of quilombola communities would continue to be impassive front to the amount of agricultural establishments in Brazil.

In this sense, the complaint drawn up by CONAQ and Terra de Direitos, argues that even if all of the demand for quilombola titling existing was carried out, there would be no significant impact to the market for land, since the amount of communities is insignificant in front of the total agricultural establishments in Brazil.

These pieces of information indicate that, after nearly 30 years of publication of the Federal Constitution and other 13 since the publication of the Federal Decree 4887/03, the actions of the Brazilian State in relation to the realization of the quilombola right to land was minimal.

The amount of lands titled during this period is almost negligible in front of the demand and puts the quilombola communities in a scenario of hopelessness, where the estimated time to complete all the titlings is greater than the double of time in which there was slavery in Brazil.

Actions: Quilombolas
Axes: Earth, territory and space justice