RealNews

Brazil's Ranchers Arming Militias to Protect Land

Twice in the last two years, Humberto Sa said, landless rural workers invaded his sprawling cattle and soybean farm in southern Brazil and tried to push him off his property. After weeks of talking, Sa persuaded them to leave. But if the invaders come again, he said, armed men will protect his ranch. Sa, a 68-year-old farmer and doctor whose family has owned a 1,200-acre spread in the state of Parana for three decades, is one of several ranchers in Brazil forming armed militias to counter a renewed wave of invasions by landless farm workers. Militias, who usually include relatives and hired gunmen, have long been a part of Brazil’s decades-old land struggle. But the numbers of armed men – some of whom have gone public, posing for the media holding rifles and wearing hoods – are growing, worrying police. Full Story

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