- Brazil Animator
- From: Macaé, Rio de Janeiro
- Registered: 2010-06-20
- Posts: 2247
Favela Savoy - The New Pinheirinho
It's like a tragic case of Deja Vu that happens here in Brazil with alarming frequency. In January of this year we witnessed the violent disoccupation of the favela known as Pinheirinho in São José dos Campos - SP. Hundreds of families who had peacefully occupied the land for many years, built their homes there were removed by force and the homes leveled. All in the name of turning the land back over to Naji Nahas and the bankrupt Selecta S/A who had very dubious ownership of the property in the first place.
Now it is the favela Savoy in Carapicuíba - SP where an estimated 800 families (over 5,000 people) have resided peacefully since 2003. This time the action is to turn the 66,000 square meter property back over to Savoy Real Estate and Construction (Savoy Imobiliária e Construtora), who just happens to be one the largest defaulters in property tax (IPTU) in São Paulo and probably in all of Brazil.
Why does this happen? Well the government helps create the situation since the Federal Constitution guarantees the acquisition of property rights for squatters who occupy a property peacefully for a period of five years without opposition. This law is known as "usucapião".
Yet on the other hand they make no moves to strip ownership of the land from those who don't pay the taxes or have themselves acquired the property by dubious means as was the case in Pinheirinho. The property belonged originally to a family who was brutally murdered (probably for the land) many years ago. Even though there was an adopted son who is a politician in Minas Gerais, the local police chief stated he was not eligible to inherit the parcel of land (How a police chief can be an authority on such matters God only knows) and from there it somehow mysteriously passed into the hands of Nahas and Selecta. Nobody can clearly explain how.
read original posting about Pinheirinho:
Now we are about to see the same violent confrontation happening all over again in Carapicuíba in order to make the rich and politically connected even richer. The "Old Boy's Club" is quite alive and well in Brazil. It is shamefull that while on the one hand the government holds out some slim hope of a better life for poor citizens in that they MIGHT gain property rights and just as quickly snatches away that hope in order to make one of ther fat cat friends even fatter.
And just who foots the incredible bill for the cost of a paramilitary operation to tear the occupants from their homes. It's not the property owner, no way. The money comes from the taxpayers' pockets and this is probably the most sinful part of all. You can bet your last dime that if the so-called property owner had to pony up the cash to mount that kind of operation it would never take place. High time that the government review either the laws governing squatters' rights or those governing 'reintegração de posse' since they are in direct opposition with eachother.
Last edited by wjwoodward (2012-05-07 17:04:02)