Margarida Alves Group of Legal Advisory to the People – Mina Gerais

Resiste Izidora - Strategic Litigation and People's Struggles

Minas Gerais

Objectives and target audience

To defend the right to land and to the city of homeless families, raising national and international information on the protection of the right to land, housing and the city, and fostering the construction of a participatory process of land regularization and urbanization, influencing the construction of new urban public policies. They also aim at constituting human rights defenders in the communities, improving the communication regarding occupations, giving it more influencing power. Strengthening the networks formed by lawyers who work with in urban land conflicts through different articulations.

Main activities

  • Strategic litigation and advocacy
  • Offering capacity training to residents.
  • Communication.


The Izidora urban occupation is considered the area of ​​greatest urban land conflict in Brazil and one of the seven most emblematic in the world. In 2013, in face of the lack of access to housing and basic human rights (such as access to water, light, and sanitation), about 8,000 homeless families, trained and led by Black women leaders, occupied an empty, non-parceled area that was not fulfilling its social role and that for over 15 years had been coveted by speculations of the real estate market. As soon as the occupation happened, the Minas Gerais state judicial authority issued preliminary injunctions ordering the forced removal. Since then, a strong political and legal battle has been fought, and the Resiste Izidora (Izidora Resists) network was formed. These reintegrations unfolded in different cases, such as grievances, exceptions of suspicion, citizen suits, court injunctions, etc.

About the organization

The Margarida Alves Group was created in 2012, in Belo Horizonte / MG. It aims at guaranteeing and enforcing human rights, in a solidary and collaborative way with the assisted groups. Their lawyers use legal tools as a means for social change, as well as to improve horizontal networking. The group works in several areas, focusing on some structural problems present in the Brazilian society. In this sense, in the context of urban land conflicts, it operates in about eight municipalities in defense of at least 18,000 families, preventing forced and violent evictions through the suspension of judicial decisions. It also acts supporting the empowerment and political education of these communities.


-National Network of People's Lawyers - RENAP.
- Mariettas Baderna Group.
- Brazilian Committee of Human Rights Defenders (CBDDH).
- Brazilian Front of Jurists for Democracy.
- Justice and Human Rights Articulation (JUS-DH).
- Social Movements Platform for the Political System Reform.
- International Coordination of the People Affected by Vale.
- Movement of the Homeless People.
- Inter-sectoral Monitoring Committee.
- Group for the Monitoring of State Policies for the Homeless Population - MG Committee.

Funding Line

Strategic Litigation (2017)



Total Granted

R$ 80 mil


12 months

Main Themes

The right to just and sustainable cities

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