LatinNews Daily - 16 April 2019

In brief: Brazil

* Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has celebrated the fact that land invasions have fallen dramatically during the first three months of his presidency. In a tweet, Bolsonaro cites figures reportedly from the Instituto Nacional de Colonização e Reforma Agrária (Incra), the federal institute charged with administrating land reforms, according to which only one land invasion was recorded during the first three months of 2019, compared to 43 invasions during the same period last year. Bolsonaro attributes this important decrease to the weakening of the landless workers’ movement (MST) as a result of the relaxation of gun ownership laws, which Bolsonaro implemented through a decree in January, and to a decrease in public sector and NGO funding for the MST’s activities. Organisations such as the MST promote invasions of unproductive farmlands to pressure the government into enacting reforms for fairer land distribution. Bolsonaro has in the past defended classifying the MST’s activities as terrorism.