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Bill Clinton: Brazilian Landowner

May 2008

A rich, influential citizen of the United States or Europe—say, Bill Clinton or Bill Gates—buys land in Brazil, either as an individual or a partner in a company. They want to invest in agrofuels, and figure that crops can be grown on their new land for fuel (and profit). But as a result, the price of land rises in Brazil; peasants and other low-income workers can no longer afford to buy land. And they have no say in how the land purchased by foreigners is used.

It is a growing crisis, and leaders of Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement (MST) are calling on the government to tighten and close loopholes in already-existing laws restricting the ownership of Brazilian land by foreigners. The head of Brazil’s land reform agency, INCRA, is troubled by the growing percentage of foreign-owned land and seeks a remedy. You can read an article about the developments here.

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