Photo: Christian Haugen/Flickr
For Brazil’s rich, the life of luxury includes a mega-mansion set among acres of trees or on the sparkling waters of the Atlantic Ocean — often built illegally on land that isn’t theirs, according to Bloomberg Markets Magazine’s Adriana Brasileiro.Brazil, which has a booming economy that creates 19 new millionaires a day, is immersed in a long-running legal battle with many of its super rich over the legality of homes built on nature preserves and public beaches, Brasileiro writes.
By law, all Brazilian beaches are public, but in some cases millionaires have gated them off to make room for their private estates, therefore violating state and federal environmental rules, according to Brasileiro.
Antonio Claudio Resende, the founder of Latin America’s biggest car-rental company, decided to build a nearly 1,800-square meter mansion on Cavala Island in a virtually untouched jungle in 2006. Part of the home was constructed underground, and it’s so deep in the jungle that it is only visible via aircraft.
Resende has been fighting civil and criminal charges against him for more than four years. He’s also filed countless appeals while defying court orders to demolish the house and leave, Brasileiro writes.
Often, the cases drag on as the rich use the best lawyers to delay hearings, dodge mandates demanding they vacate the house and property, and avoid permit requests.
As Eduardo Godoy, who works for an organisation that manages federally protected areas, told Bloomberg:
They (the rich) think they are the only ones who deserve to enjoy a piece of paradise because they are rich. They say they are the owners of the island or the beach, and everybody believes them. But that’s not what the law says.
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