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The World | IN BRIEF / BRAZIL

Descendants of Slaves Win Right to Land

April 19, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Descendants of Brazil's runaway slaves won the right to own the land settled by their ancestors when they fled captivity centuries ago.

The Senate, in a unanimous vote, passed legislation giving residents of quilombos--remote villages where slaves fled from plantations in the 17th and 18th centuries-- formal rights to own the land.

Congress had dithered for seven years over whether to give the slave descendants the same land rights as those of other minorities such as Indians, whose claims to their land were enshrined in the 1988 constitution.

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