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Issue No.22
  • :September
  • :2006

Yemaya 22 carries writeups from countries like Brazil, Chile, India etc.

Latin America/Brazil

A historic victory

Recently, in March 2006, the Superior Federal Court of Justice, Brazil, ruled in favour of the rights of the community of Prainha do Canto Verde over their land

by René Schärer, of the Instituto Terramar, Brazil, and a Member of ICSF

Prainha do Canto Verde, a small fishing village in the State of Ceará in northeastern Brazil, was settled around 1870, soon after the abolition of slavery, by people from neighbouring communities, mostly freed slave labour from sugarcane plantations. While fishing is the main source of livelihood in Prainha do Canto Verde, the village does not have a port, as the jangadas (sailrafts) used are beach-landing craft.

The calm of the village was interrupted in 1976, when Antônio Sales Magalhães, a specialist in acquiring beach terrain, appeared in the vicinity and made up purchase contracts of land belonging to 12 families, stretching from the dunes behind the village until the coast. Within a year and a half, he had acquired 749 ha of land at about one US cent per sq m. The fisher families living on, or close to, the beach did not know what was going on. Actu