Brazil gov't says to buy ranch at center of Indian land dispute

SAO PAULO, June 21 Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:16pm EDT

SAO PAULO, June 21 (Reuters) - Brazil's federal government said on Friday it would buy a former Congressman's ranch and give the land to Terena Indians in a bid to quell a violent land dispute that has plagued the country's agricultural belt for months.

President Dilma Rousseff's government sent federal troops to the area in Mato Grosso do Sul state last month after an Indian was killed during a forced eviction from the property.

Brazil's indigenous policy, which includes returning land to natives based on anthropological studies, is considered one of the world's most progressive. But it has sparked violence since the country became an agricultural superpower and Indian policy clashed with farming interests.

Rousseff's government also faces the difficult task of responding to widespread rioting unrelated to Indian lands in cities across Brazil that has caught Latin America's largest economy off guard a year before it hosts the soccer World Cup. (Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Carol Bishopric)

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