Community in São Paulo faces eviction
2 October 2017
Over 200 families from the Mauá community face eviction in São Paulo.
“Having a home has much to do with a personal sense of dignity.”
Pope Francis, Laudato Si' 152
The situation is urgent. Families face being forced out by police on 21 November. Children and vulnerable adults, who have lived in the Mauá building for 10 years, are in danger of being left homeless on the streets.
CAFOD partner APOIO is working with the Mauá community to defend their right to secure housing.
The Mauá building
The Mauá building stands in the centre of São Paulo, Brazil. Once a chic hotel, it was abandoned and left empty for 17 years until, in 2007, over 200 homeless families moved in and renovated it. Since then they have been trying to win their legal rights to their home – as Brazilian law allows.
Through our Connect2 project, parishes in England and Wales have been following and supporting the Mauá community. Although the community have fought off eviction orders in the past, unless there is strong political will to protect the rights of the families, there is a very high risk of eviction this time. All legal routes have been exhausted and so far local authorities have not provided any contingency plan.
The eviction notice came as a shock to the residents as negotiations with the authorities had been going well.
Message from the Mauá community
The Mauá community have appealed to the Catholic community in England and Wales to stand by them in their struggle. Neti de Araújo, a community leader with the Mauá residents who in the past visited and met with CAFOD supporters, sent us this message:
“We are going through some really tough times; our rights are being violated. We in the Mauá community have spent 10 years living in this building which we have cleaned, looked after and made into a home for 237 families.
For years, we have been negotiating for the acquisition of this building for social housing with an affordable rent. Now we are at risk of eviction. We have not been offered an alternative. We will have to leave our homes and live in the street. I am counting on you and your prayers.”
What you can do
Our partner APOIO tells us that there is no further legal recourse to save Mauá. The only hope now is to put pressure on authorities to stop the eviction.
We know campaigning works. The eviction has already been delayed by a month in response to pressure from the families involved and supporters of the Mauá community. We need to keep up the momentum!
Please get involved by:
- Adding your name to our petition asking the Brazilian authorities to suspend the eviction and to negotiate a just, permanent solution for the families.
- Print off the petition and ask people in your parish to add their signatures
- Show solidarity with the Mauá community by taking a picture of yourself holding a sign saying #ficamaua to share on Twitter with @CAFOD or Facebook.