Since last Monday (11), the Quilombo Kédi community has been organizing a vigil to enforce and respect their rights as quilombolas. The action takes place in response to the instigation for the sale of the territory, promoted by registration meetings between residents interested in selling their land and the Municipal Housing Department (Demhab), with the participation of the Public Defender’s Office of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (DPE-RS ).
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Located in one of the most noble areas of Porto Alegre, real estate speculation has caused the community’s territory to lose space, currently being crushed between commercial and residential buildings and the Country Club. A single street gives access to the site. The community is just a few meters from two large shopping malls, Iguatemi and Bourbon.
Since 2014, due to a court decision, the self-declared quilombola community has been fighting to remain in the area, as there is an order to remove the remnants of the area.
According to the Quilombola Front and leaders of the Kédi quilombo, during a meeting on August 14, the bodies instructed residents to open bank accounts to receive compensation for vacating the area. The amounts would come from the More Housing Program – Shared Purchase, from Porto Alegre City Hall, which provides financial assistance for people to leave risk areas.
In 2014, the city hall was ordered by the courts, in an action brought by the State Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP), to resettle the approximately 100 families to another location. The action was judged before the Fundação Cultural Palmares certified the territory as a remaining quilombo community, something that happened in February this year.
With the possibility of compensation, and because they do not consider themselves quilombolas, not recognizing ties with the place, around 70 people have contacted the Public Defender’s Office since the beginning of this year expressing their desire to leave the place with fair compensation.
“Unable to deny this legitimate claim, the DPE has been giving voice to these people and assisting in intermediation before the municipality, always with the aim of ensuring that all the rights and guarantees of residents are assured”, says Ana Carolina Sampaio Pinheiro de Castro Zacher, defender public coordinator of the Conciliation Chamber.
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In the DPE’s understanding, the action that has already become final and unappealable in court is still legitimate and the territorial titling process is still ongoing, allowing the sale of the community’s land. “At the same time, the institution also works for the rights of quilombolas, who have ties to the territory and want to stay in Kédi, maintaining their ancestry. For these, DPE has been looking for alternatives to improve local living conditions, such as sanitation and electricity”, says Ana.
The State Council for Participation and Development of the Black Community (Codene) requested the Fundação Cultural Palmares to cease any effects of the public action brought by the MP/RS.
“This argument that the fact that there was no Title authorizes residents to make the ‘Sale’ is not valid. The self-identified, certified community with an administrative process at Incra attracts its own protection to the sphere of the municipality during the long process of demarcation and titling of this territory, so the sale and negotiation has a series of legal restrictions”, comments lawyer Onir Araújo, who is part of the consultative council of the Quilombola Front.
“The DPE is acting out of time and misleading several residents. Such action by the DPE is of questionable legality and has been a factor of uneasiness for the quilombolas. This extemporaneous action by the DPE has behind it the interests of Real Estate Developments that impact the Territory in Association with the City of Porto Alegre”, says Onir.
This Thursday (14), at 7:30 pm, quilombo leaders and researchers from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Ufrgs) will carry out a symbolic act of delivery of the Quilombola Territorial Demarcation Pleito. The Territorial Pleito is an important part of the Technical Identification Report with the Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform.
Understand the process of titling quilombola territory
Obtaining title to your land is essential for preserving the culture and way of life in quilombola communities. To apply for title, the first step is to obtain from the Palmares Foundation, linked to the Ministry of Culture, a certification in which the community defines itself as quilombola. Once you have this document, the process can be opened at Incra.
From there, several steps follow. The first of these is the preparation of a technical report – the RTID – consisting of an anthropological study, land survey, descriptive memorial and registration of quilombola families.
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Then, the possibility of challenges to the RTID by potential interested parties opens up. If the Report is approved, Incra will compensate non-Quilombola occupants so that they can leave the territory.
Titled quilombola territories cannot be dismembered, remaining preserved for future generations. Nor can they be sold and placed on the market, being reserved exclusively for communities.
Obtaining land title has a decisive impact on quilombola communities. With possession of their land, quilombolas have even easier access to a series of federal government programs, such as the Aquilomba Brasil Program, launched through Decree No. 11,447/2023, which guarantees the rights of the quilombola population in the country . The program has four axes: access to land and territory; infrastructure and quality of life; productive inclusion and local ethnodevelopment; and rights and citizenship.
Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul
Editing: Katia Marko