On Wednesday our delegation visited a settlement to meet Brazilian people who have occupied land and exercised their legal right to remain if they can prove a productive and a social value on land that has been abandoned, reports Louise.
Bella Vista was a coffee plantation which has now been legally claimed by the people who live there. They were preparing for a big Saints day party at the weekend, so everyone was very busy.
We met the women of the settlement preparing papaya and pumpkin dessert on an industrial scale in a fairly precarious manner.
We then visited a sugar cane plantation and witnessed the effect that this vast monoculture had on the nearby river, as an environment protection officer I was very concerned about the sedimentation of the river bed, I couldn’t see that any life could be supported in that river.
We then went to meet workers stripping corn husks for cigarettes. Our Scott Donohoe would have fainted at the lack of health and safety provision for these workers!