Land grabbingIllegal occupation of public lands through document falsification.
The Brazilian Portuguese term for land grabbing (“Grilagem” derived from the Portuguese Grilo – cricket) comes from the historical practice of artificially aging documents in drawers or boxes full of crickets to get hold of public areas. The chemical action of the insects’ urine gave the papers an aged and realistic appearance. Today, this federal crime occurs in a modern way, with registrations in real estate registry offices, corruption and insertion of false data on land regulation electronic platforms. In certain cases, it is connected to illegal practices such as deforestation, logging and slave labor. Brazil still does not have a single land registry system, a crossing of environmental or land data between federal, state and municipal agencies, or even a specific registry for large rural properties, on which loss of native vegetation is concentrated.
criminal bookkeeping, theft of public lands