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Caracas, Monday September 12 , 2005  
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British Vestey to challenge seizure of Apure farm
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British cattle company Vestey is to challenge seizure of a farm in Venezuela by troops and members of agricultural cooperatives as part of a land reapportionment program for the poor advanced by President Hugo Chávez.
 
National Guard officers stormed last weekend into La Bendición Ramera, a farm in south-western Apure state, where the authorities claimed that it could be granted to agricultural cooperatives under a law entitling the state to confiscate idle or poorly documented lands, Vestey said, as reported by Reuters.

The farm covers an area of 27,273 hectares.

Groups of farmers and opposition have lashed out at a campaign on land ownership as the centerpiece of President Chávez' socialist policies. They claim that the government ignores due process and threatens the right to property.

"Fifty National Guard officers showed up in our farm with some members of a cooperative, and the officers gave them access to the farm," a Vestey speaker said.

"Apparently, the standard three-week notice was not observed in this case. However, we are going to appeal," he added.

Based on a press release from the National Lands Institute issued last weekend, land seizure is part of the recovery of plots of land available for cooperatives and for a plantation plan.




 
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