Wednesday, 20 July 2016 

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Campaigners in Brazil on Wednesday hailed a court decision to cancel a major land acquisition deal because investors had illegally acquired territory from small-scale farmers.

A state court in Piaui in Brazil's poor northeast issued an order canceling the deal for a tract of land larger than Los Angeles earlier this month.

The 124,000 hectare land concession in the area of Santa Filomena in the south of Piaui State was acquired illegally by Brazilian businessmen, according to court documents.

"This is a very important case," said Fabio Pitta from the Social Network for Justice and Human Rights, a Sao Paulo-based advocacy group.

"People who had been living on these lands were being evicted, sometimes violently," Pitta told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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