One of the subjects that made the headlines in the newspapers and even became a trending topic on Brazilian Twitter in April was Senate Bill (PLS) 510/2021. Under the pretext of regularizing the situation of thousands of rural producers who have been waiting for decades for the ownership title of the lands on which they produce, the text should, in fact, provide an amnesty to the large deforesters and occupiers of public lands. This will cause enormous damage to the forests and also to the traditional populations of the Amazon. The Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture has published a positioning:
“We understand that carrying out land regularization of occupations that have existed for decades on public lands is a critical step to avoid conflicts, provide legal security and offer economic inclusion to rural producers, while promoting social justice and allowing good governance in the Brazilian territory. However, this is not what the PLS #510/21 is about.
The changes proposed by the PLS go against what is expected from the land regularization process in the country, especially in the Amazon. The Bill aims to change the deadline again so that invasions of public lands are legalized (moving to 2014) and also to allow larger areas (up to 2,500 hectares) to be assigned to people claiming they are occupiers while dismissing an inspection. This constant flexibilization logic regarding the timeframe and the size of the properties to be titled ends up legitimizing land grabbing practices and encouraging new illegal squatting, which increases the pressure on public forests.
The vast majority of public land occupiers are small producers. Well-established and productive possessions have certainly taken place before 2014, which proves that amending the law is a mistake.”