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Organized Crime Leads Invasions of São Paulo Areas Surrounding Natural Springs

By Arkady Petrov

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Recent criminal invasions of land protected by environmental laws have affected at least 24 areas in the city of São Paulo since last year.

Concentrated in the southern part of the capital, most are near the natural springs supplying the Guarapiranga and Billings reservoirs, and threaten the water supply of five million people in São Paulo. It is strongly suspected that some of these invasions are coordinated by organized crime, with the sale of plots of land for up to R$100,000 (US$25,000).

This is the case of . . .

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