Superintendency of Agrarian Reform (SUPRA)

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Superintendency of Agrarian Reform (SUPRA)

SUPRA, established in October 1962, was an executive-branch agency charged with implementing the rural policies of President João Goulart, including land and labor reforms. SUPRA distributed some land to landless peasants and started a campaign to form 2,000 unions, establish 500 labor courts, and register 3 million new voters by 1965. To do this, SUPRA opened dozens of regional offices and contracted experienced Communist and Catholic labor organizers. The effort was to regiment the fractious rural labor movement and thereby weaken the rural oligarchy. Hundreds of new unions had been established by April 1964, when the military coup d'état outlawed SUPRA and persecuted its agents for subversion.

See alsoGoulart, João Belchior Marques .


John W. F. Dulles, Unrest in Brazil: Political and Military Crises, 1955–1964 (1970), pp. 220-275.

Aspásia de Alcântara Camargo, "A questão agrária: Crise de poder e reforma de base," in História de civilização brasileira, no. 10, tomo 3, O Brasil republicano, vol. 3, Sociedade e politica (1930–1964), edited by Boris Fausto, 3d ed. (1986), pp. 121-224.

Additional Bibliography

Pereira, Anthony W. The End of the Peasantry: The Rural Labor Movement in Northeast Brazil, 1961–1988. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997.

Stédile, João Pedro, and Douglas Estevam. A questão agrária no Brasil. 2nd ed. São Paulo: Editora Expressão Popular, 2005.

Welch, Cliff. The Seed Was Planted: The Saõ Paulo Roots of Brazil's Rural Labor Movement, 1924–1964. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999.

                                           Cliff Welch