Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

Judi Lynn

(161,430 posts)
Wed May 11, 2022, 04:08 AM May 2022

In Brazil, Politicians Push to Privatize Beaches

In Brazil, beaches are used by a broad swath of society. A new bill, however, looks set to restrict beach access in favor of tourism development. Photo by BrazilPhotos/Alamy Stock Photo

A new bill that would open a huge chunk of Brazil’s coast to tourism development could have far-reaching consequences.
by Eduardo Campos Lima
May 11, 2022 | 600 words, about 3 minutes

Brazilian politicians with connections to the tourism and hospitality industries are pushing forward a bill that would privatize parts of the country’s beaches. Known as bill 4444/2021, the legislation, proposed by Congressman Isnaldo Bulhões Jr., is ostensibly designed to make the management of federal properties across the country more efficient. The bill sets out a plan to identify and catalog all lands and public buildings and examine who is occupying them, how they are being used, and whether users are paying the appropriate fees. In cases in which non-federal-government users—other branches of government or private users—occupy the land and buildings, the estate will revert back to the federal government.

But nestled within the bill’s text is a controversial provision that gives the government the power to create so-called special zones of tourism use. These zones would convert public beaches—up to 10 percent of the sand strip in a city—to private property, barring access to unauthorized people and opening the beaches up to development by hotels, private parks, clubs, marinas, and other endeavors allowed by Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism.

Though the bill was first put forth in 2021, in February it was deemed an urgent proposition by Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, a lower house in the country’s National Congress. The move could see it go to a vote imminently. The urgent classification could also exempt the bill from otherwise mandatory stages, such as public consultation.

Congressman Rodrigo Agostinho, a longtime environmental activist, says the bill shows the pressure being exerted on congresspeople by the gaming industry. Earlier this year, Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies pushed games of chance closer to legalization. “Many companies that own casinos want to build them by the sea,” he says.

Latest Discussions»Region Forums»Latin America»In Brazil, Politicians Pu...