Dandara Squat has been organised, since the last 9 April, in a 40 ha terrain in Céu Azul neighbourhood, in the northern region of Belo Horizonte. Organised by MST and Brigadas Populares, the squat began with 150 families and counts, today, with more than one thousand ones camping and approximately five hundred in the waiting list. The action seeks to denounce the lack of public policies related to housing and to demand the Urban and Agrarian Reforms as means of overcoming the inequalities prevailing in the cities and the country-side.
The occupied area was demanded by Construtora Modelo, installed in Belo Horizonte. In its initial petition it was incapable of proving the effective ownership of the terrain, limiting itself to annexing an alleged project for a housing complex. However, under close scrutiny, this project was related to another terrain situated in another neighbourhood. Still in relation to the process, the origin of the property of the terrain and its fiscal situation are doubtful..
In the first day of the squat, when the families were still installing themselves, the lawyer Márcia Frois, representing Modelo, went to the point of threatening the leaders of the movement. According to her, the access of the construction company to the justice would be “very easy, for my husband is a judge.” In the course of these two months the families have been constantly threatened and pressured by the police, which have gone far beyond its power.
The juridical commission that accompanies Dandara has researched the construction company’s history, verifying that it belongs to the same group that through COJAN cheated hundreds of consumers in the 1980s house market. The group works with two juridical identities, one for building and for selling houses. In practical terms, Construtora Modelo LTDA and Lótus Empreendimentos e Participações S/A work together. Consulting the system of TJMG, it is possible to verify that the two of them have got together 2577 ongoing court cases (in Belo Horizonte and Betim), in which they figure as accusers and defendants.
One may also verify that some cases reach STF, as that of the abusive clauses charged by Lótus to their debtors, in which the company retained more than 75% of the value paid by these in case of interruption of payment. Which is to say that Lótus received (stole) almost all of the amount already paid for the house, simply because someone delayed the payment of an instalment. The coordination of the squat believes that people who are capable of manipulating the terms of a contract are also capable of manipulating the “legal” system in their favour.
For more information, call: (55 31) 8815-4120, 8522-3029