Angus Reid – Consultants Brazilians Worried About Military Invasion

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Many adults in Brazil are concerned about foreign entities trying to control the Amazon tropical forest, according to a poll by Ibope for Renctas. 75 per cent of respondents fear their country could face a military invasion because of its natural resources.

Since the end of military rule in 1985, Brazilian governments have put the army in charge of defending the Amazon tropical forest. The region—larger than Western Europe—is a vast source of plant and animal life.

In February, environmentalist Dorothy Stang was murdered near the town of Anapu. Stang tried to protect the area from logging and over-development, and acted as a legal defender for landless peasants. Four people—including two alleged gunmen—have been arrested in connection with the case.

On Apr. 19, a report issued by the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) said land disputes in Brazil’s rural areas have noticeably intensified. According to the CPT, the number of documented clashes between farmers, land speculators and peasants rose from 925 in 2002, to 1,801 last year.

After his presidential election victory in 2002, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva vowed to settle 400,000 families on vacant or illegally occupied land. During his Apr. 18 radio address, the president referred to the issue, saying, “It’s an historic debt, it’s not possible to pay it off all at once.”

Polling Data

Do you think Brazil could face the risk of a military invasion because of its natural resources?

Yes 75%
No 19%
No reply 6%

Source: Ibope / Renctas
Methodology: Interviews to 2,002 Brazilian adults, conducted from Apr. 8 to Apr. 13, 2005. Margin of error is 2.2 per cent.