| ||The Mato Grosso is one of the richest agricultural regions in Brazil. Livestock and crops are both intensively produced in immense farms known as fazendas. Almost two thirds of the land available for farming belongs to less than 4% of the population in this country, of which half is not farmed, while 25 million poor peasants, 5 million of them landless, survive thanks to irregular agricultural work. This situation has given rise to violent conflict which has resulted in more than a thousand deaths over the past ten years. Driving the struggle since 1984, the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST) is seeking to impose a fairer distribution of agricultural land. Over 20 years, by occupying land, the MST has forced the state to grant deeds of ownership to more than 350,000 families. Only agricultural reform could achieve a sustainable solution, but politicians are anxious about going against the interests of the rich landowners and the multinationals. When he was elected in 2002, President Lula da Silva, representing the hopes of the very worst off, promised to get to grips with the problem. Today, the MST is denouncing his lack of action.
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