Marco Aurelio, prominent leader of the MST (Brazilian Landless Workers Movement), speaks with Benny Kuruvilla on current developments in Brazil. Rightwing politicians have been busy cutting allocations in social sectors, revising labour laws and undermining the progressive Constitution. Social movements such as MST have been in the forefront in creating broad based progressive platforms to oppose the Temer Government.
In Argentina, the accumulation of new lands for expanding mining and large-scale agribusiness requires displacement of current occupants. However, peasant resistance is shaping to achieve far-reaching structural change.
There is a lot of contention over approaches to land reform policy, in terms of how to involve the state, the market and communities; but what matters most for a socio-economically and politically sustainable solution, is that the policy is genuinely 'pro-poor'.
The dominant perception of land-grabbing as a threat is being replaced by a new story line, promoted by, amongst other, the World Bank—that of new land deals as a potential opportunity for rural development. But this supposed win-win formula raises many problems, doubts and concerns.