The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik called on Brazilian authorities to suspend evictions from the Pinheirinho settlement in Sao Paulo and find a peaceful and appropriate solution with residents.
About 6,000 residents have been affected by the eviction order dictated by a judge in late December last year.
Violent clashes between police and residents continued into Monday after a state judge ordered almost 2,000 police officers into the Pinheirinho settlement on the outskirts of Sao Jose dos Campos.
“I’m appalled by the excessive use of force reportedly used during the evictions on 22 January.” -Ms. Rolnik
She cited information she has received suggesting that the military police of Sao Paulo used tear gas and rubber bullets against the residents, including children and the elderly. Twenty residents were reportedly injured, one severely, and 30 arrested.
She noted that Pinheirinho is still under siege and that nobody is allowed to enter the area. She cited that the current situation of the evictees is extremely worrying; with no housing alternatives they are vulnerable to other human rights violations.
The Ms. Rolnik appealed to the authorities of the State of Sao Paulo to suspend the eviction order and the police action in Pinheirinho. She stated that the suspension would allow the authorities to resume negotiations with residents to find a peaceful solution.
Pinheirinho was occupied eight years ago and belongs to the estate of Selecta S / A, owned by financial speculator Naji Nahas. Before being occupied, it was a land that was abandoned for 30 years, with over 1 million square meters. The estate of Selecta has a debt of more than $ 15 million in taxes to the municipality of Sao Jose dos Campos.