The National Coordination for the Coordination of Rural Black Quilombola Communities (Conaq) is preparing a complaint against the current management of the superintendence of the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra) in Sergipe for institutional racism and persecution of civil servants.
“We are organizing a hearing at the Chamber’s Human Rights Commission [dos Deputados], we are going to file this complaint with the National Human Rights Council, and we also want to take to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights not only the situation in Sergipe, but the paralysis of policies throughout Brazil”, says Biko Rodrigues, coordinator of Conaq.
The article contacted the Incra superintendency in Sergipe, which rejected the allegations and presented its version on each of the themes mentioned. Check the full answer at the end of this article.
Sergipe was the first state to include quilombolas as beneficiaries of the agrarian reform credit policy, based on an ordinance signed by Incra in the last months of the Dilma Rousseff (PT) government, in April 2016.
Payment began the following year and served as an example for implementation in other regions of the country.
Among the first beneficiaries were families from the Mocambo territory, in Porto da Folha, 185 km from the capital Aracaju, who received R$ 5,200 for the purchase of basic necessities.
Credits like this were granted in 17 states until September 2020, when the policy was interrupted under the Jair Bolsonaro (non-party) government.
Biko Rodrigues highlights the seriousness of this stoppage in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, which accentuated hunger and poverty in Brazil.
“Credit is the freedom of the farmer. It provides conditions for the quilombolas to improve their production, buy their flour mill, improve their quality of life”, he exemplifies.
Quilombolas in Sergipe usually plant beans, cassava and vegetables, in addition to raising animals. The dismantling of food acquisition programs by the State directly affects these communities.
“The farmer doesn’t want anything for free, he just wants the State to provide him with conditions to produce his food, and the surplus for sale. We are experiencing a food crisis in the country and, if credit had arrived at the right time, perhaps many families would not be starving”, adds Rodrigues.
Incra’s regional superintendence says that, in order to authorize the credit, it is necessary “that the territory is titled or that Incra has issued the Concession Agreement for the Real Right of Use (CCDRU) of the lands.”
According to the latest version of the Geographical and Statistical Information Base on Indigenous Peoples and Quilombolas, by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), 51 of Sergipe’s 75 municipalities have quilombola locations.
With the 5th lowest Human Development Index (HDI) among 27 Brazilian states, Sergipe also has 90 quilombola localities outside officially delimited territories.
The end of the payment of credits, just over a year ago, coincided with the suspension of land regularization processes, according to Conaq.
Incra’s superintendence denies that there was a stoppage and says that “it has 24 processes for the regularization of quilombola territories in different phases, from the preparation of technical identification and delimitation reports to the disintrusion phase.”
Disintrusion is the removal of someone who has taken possession of a property illegally or without authorization from the owner.
Quilombola leaders from Sergipe reported the feeling of abandonment on the 4th of this month, in a hearing with the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), with Incra employees and with the representative of the Citizenship and Human Rights Commission of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Sergipe (Alese ), deputy Iran Barbosa (PT).
At this meeting, the MPF reaffirmed that the payment of agrarian reform credits to quilombolas is legal and must be resumed immediately – as well as the land regularization and environmental licensing processes.
If there is no initiative on the part of Incra, prosecutor Lívia Tinoco informed that she intends to file a public civil action to ensure compliance with the Constitution.
“The next day [à audiência], early in the morning, the superintendent of Incra took a plane and went to Brasília to try to politically tie up the persecution of the civil servants who had been authorizing the payment of credits in Sergipe. Some of them were even at the hearing on the 4th”, reports the coordinator of Conaq.
Also according to Biko Rodrigues, this month the civil servants who authorized the payment of credits to quilombolas in the state were the target of lawsuits at the Federal Comptroller General (CGU) and even complaints by the Federal Police.
O Brazil in fact awaits access to the documents to confirm the content of the processes, the number and name of the investigated servers.
For Conaq, these processes are an attempt to discourage compliance with the Constitution and the Allegation of non-compliance with a fundamental precept (ADPF) 742 – which recommends that INCRA make progress in guaranteeing the rights of quilombola communities even during the pandemic.
“What we have noticed is institutional racism in the execution of this policy, promoted by the current administration of Incra in Sergipe, and the judicial criminalization of civil servants who paid credit to quilombola families”, emphasizes Rodrigues.
“The current administration doesn’t know how to work on the development of this policy and doesn’t care if it goes ahead or not. But, to please the biggest boss – Bolsonaro, who is against quilombola politics – they are on this witch hunt.”
In 2017, Bolsonaro made statements offensive to quilombolas and promised to fight against land demarcation.
“I went to a quilombo. The lightest Afro-descendant there weighed seven arrobas. They don’t do anything. I don’t think it’s even for a breeder anymore”, said the then pre-candidate, during a lecture at the Clube Hebraica, in Rio de Janeiro (RJ).
“You can be sure that if I get there [na Presidência], as far as it depends on me, there won’t be a centimeter demarcated for an indigenous reserve or for a quilombola.”
By using the term institutional racism, Conaq considers that the current administration of Incra in Sergipe does not see quilombolas as a public deserving of credit or as subjects of rights.
“The accusation of institutional racism is linked to the way in which the superintendent [Victor Sande] has been treating the quilombolas. When quilombolas go to Incra, he treats them on the street. He receives the farmers in the office”, explains the coordinator of Conaq.
“In other states, land title regularization is not progressing either, but we have not seen persecution as in the state of Sergipe.”
O Brazil in fact presented the criticisms and questions to Incra’s superintendence.
Check out the full answer:
“The accusation of institutional racism is unfounded, since the Regional Superintendence of Incra in Sergipe has not suspended actions related to the land tenure regularization of territories for communities remaining from quilombos in the state.
The regional has 24 processes for the regularization of quilombola territories in different phases, from the preparation of technical identification and delimitation reports to the de-intrusion phase.
It is necessary to clarify that during the pandemic period, which started in 2020 and is still in force, field activities were initially suspended and later resumed with restriction in order to reduce the dissemination of the coronavirus.
Despite the budget constraint for the onerous acquisition of private rural properties with a view to allocating land to quilombola communities, the current management of the regional in Sergipe has promoted several actions since August 2020, highlighting, for example:
– Operationalization, monitoring and inspection of the granting of Credit Installation modalities in six communities;
– Publication of the Technical Identification and Delimitation Reports (RTID) of the Terra Dura/Coqueiral (Capela) and Bongue (Ilha das Flores) communities, currently under contestation, pursuant to INCRA Normative Instruction No. 57/2009;
– Request for the issuance of four Titles of Domain of properties located in the territory of Lagoa dos Campinhos and Serra da Guia, with a total area of 103.6811 hectares;
– Preparation of a georeferencing notice, for titling purposes, including 18 rural properties located in territories (Serra da Guia, Lagoa dos Campinhos and Mocambo), with a total area of 2,196.24 hectares and perimeter of 83.77 km;
– Expropriation and immission of ownership of a rural property for the Serra da Guia community, with an area of 551.9106 hectares, valued at R$ 2,547,790.43;
– Allocation and title of the Ilhas da Criminosa and Lagoa to the Brejão dos Negros and Ilha da Lagoa communities, respectively.
Regarding the credit policy, the institute clarifies that the possibility of including the remaining communities as beneficiaries of the National Agrarian Reform Program has as an administrative framework the requirement that the territory be titled or that INCRA has issued the Concession of Rights Agreement Real of Use (CCDRU) of land. Such understanding follows the provisions of INCRA/MDA Ordinance No. 175, of April 19, 2016, and OPINION No. 00011/2016/CGA/PFE-INCRA-SEDE/PGF/AGU.
In this way, not all communities in the state are able to access the Installation Credit modalities, offered by Incra to the beneficiaries of the agrarian reform. It is necessary to reaffirm that the credit payment policy is not paralyzed, but is restricted to territories that have CCDRU or Domain Title (TD), which are: Serra da Guia (Poço Redondo), Mocambo (Porto da Folha), Brejão dos Negros (Brejo Grande), Pontal da Barra (Barra dos Coqueiros), Pirangy (Chapel) and Lagoa dos Campinhos (Amparo do São Francisco).
The introduction of inspection procedures for the granting of Installation Credit to remaining communities in the state by the Audit of Incra and the Comptroller General of the Union (CGU) does not constitute persecution or harassment. They are, in fact, important measures to verify the regularity, legality, efficiency and effectiveness of the management of public resources. In this regard, it is important to remember that all Incra actions are subject to evaluation, monitoring and inspection by the internal unit and external control bodies.
The accusation that the current regional superintendent of Incra in the state practices institutional racism is also untrue. At no time did the manager fail to provide clarifications and information about the institute’s actions, having received representatives or members of the quilombola communities according to availability on the agenda.
Regarding the statement that the superintendent received the quilombolas on the street, it is necessary to state that a group of over 60 people attended the regional office to request a hearing with the manager. Considering the restrictions in serving the public imposed by the covid-19 pandemic and in compliance with the necessary care to reduce the risk of contamination, the superintendent held an initial conversation in the unit’s parking lot, given the impossibility of receiving everyone in the office. As the meeting was not previously scheduled, enabling the preparation of space and availability of masks and gel alcohol, the manager attended small groups per community in the superintendence facilities.
Finally, Incra’s management in Sergipe reiterates that it is acting and delivering public policies to society within strict legality and with full responsibility.”
Edition: Vinicius Segalla