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The fight for Alcântara

laura_alcantaralaurabeatrizThe Federal Supreme Court (STF) is expected to hand down the decision on the criteria to establish the limits of the quilombo lands, settlements in the Brazilian hinterland.  The decision is being anxiously expected by government authorities and by researchers connected with the Brazilian space program.  In November, the National Agrarian Reform Institute (Incra) established the limits of the territory populated by the community that remained from the Quilombo Alcântara, in the State of Maranhão. 78,1 hectares of land were reserved for the descendants of the original settlers, leaving an area of only 9,3 thousand hectares for the Alcântara space rocket launching center. The Minister of Science and Technology, Sérgio Rezende, criticized the intransigent attitude of the social movements linked to the quilombos, whose members have refused to re-discuss the allocation of these lands. The Minister of Defense, Nelson Jobim, announced that he had requested that the Office of the Federal Attorney General set up a mediation chamber to discuss the stalemate.  The Minister changed his mind when he was informed that the Supreme Court Justices will judge a claim of unconstitutionality filed against the government’s decree which regulated the article of the Constitution on the quilombola issue.