Brazil: Resisting Pandemic Repossessions

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Brazil: Resisting Pandemic Repossessions
By: Alexander Putti, CartaCapital
06 August 2020

On Monday, 10 August, representatives of urban and rural popular movements and parliamentary fronts for urban reform and human rights met virtually with the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Rodrigo Maia, to ask for the vote on the bills 1975/2020 and 827/2020 that suspend the removal and reintegration actions of low-income families during the pandemic.

It is unacceptable that, even during a pandemic that has already killed more than 100 thousand people and whose main orientation was #FicaEmCasa, governments and the judiciary continue to expel families from their homes. In São Paulo, we watched unbelievable tractors tearing down houses and no alternative was offered to families who were left on the street.

The São Paulo Court of Justice has already received more than 4,000 requests for repossession in the state. In addition, more than 2,000 families are on the verge of being evicted during the pandemic. *

The movements also asked President Rodrigo Maia to overturn President Bolsonaro`s veto on PL 1179/2020, which suspends eviction actions during the pandemic. With the loss of income and jobs, many families who previously paid rent have struggled to keep up with their payments and can be evicted as well.

Maia said that he is going to talk to the party leaders and was to give an answer that week. We will charge.

The pandemic has shown us the importance of decent, safe, adequate housing, with infrastructure, a sufficient number of rooms is essential to guarantee the right to life. The struggle for housing is a task for the whole of society.


Decisions go against the recommendation of the National Council of Justice

During the period of the new coronavirus pandemic, the São Paulo Court of Justice received more than 4,000 requests for repossession in the state. The data were obtained via the Access to Information Law by co-deputy Fernando Ferrari (PSOL), a member of the Activist Bench in the Legislative Assembly of São Paulo.

The congressman says in the report, obtained exclusively by CartaCapital, that more than 2 thousand families have already been or could be evicted during the pandemic, which has already killed almost 100 thousand people in the country. These decisions go against the recommendation of the National Council of Justice (CNJ), which has recommended not to carry out repossession during the covid-19 crisis period.

“An eviction is always a sadness, a despair, a localized social tragedy, with zip code, social class, color. But in the midst of the pandemic it is even more frightening. ” emphasizes Ferrari, who personally followed the actions.

“In São Paulo alone, more than 900 families were thrown onto the streets in June, only at Sítio Roseira, in Guaianases, East Zone, and another 600 threatened in the North Zone of São Paulo now in August, in the Jardim Julieta community, in Parque Mundo Novo,” says the parliamentarian.

In the interior of the state, the Justice also authorized repossession in Piracicaba, held on 7 May, and in Ribeirão Preto, which still undergoes a legal struggle, but can leave more than 1200 people homeless in 320 families.

To stop these decisions, the parliamentarian officiated, on Wednesday, 5 August, the Human Rights Commission of the Legislative Assembly of São Paulo so that the São Paulo legislature can join the joint that brings together the Public Defender of the State of São Paulo and the Public Ministry SP to preserve decent living conditions for people in extreme social vulnerability, especially during the pandemic.

“Why don`t they offer rent assistance, why don`t they prepare temporary housing, why then don`t they use the strength of the State to solve the housing problem instead of using it to solve the eviction?”, Asks Ferrari.

Complaint at the UN

On 24 June, the Evictions Observatory of USP, Unifesp and Ufabc and the Center`s Homeless Movement, together with other entities, sent a letter to the UN Human Rights Council denouncing eviction and repossession actions carried out by the Judiciary during the new coronavirus pandemic.

In the Chamber of Deputies, the PL (Bill of Law) 1975/2020, authored by Congresswoman Natália Bonavides (PT-RN), proposes the suspension of evictions and repossession in the countryside and in the city, during the period of the calamity due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Original article (in Portuguese)

Photo: More than 4,000 eviction actions were protocoled during the pandemic in São Paulo. Photo: Tânia Rêgo / Agência Brasil

Related articles:

O estado veste o traje da morte: a reintegração de posse e a pandemia

Em meio à pandemia, PM realiza reintegração de posse no interior de SP

Bolsonaro quer centralizar reintegração de posse de propriedades rurais

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