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Venezuela Seizes Private Land, Will Redistribute to the Poor

Venezuelan authorities have said they will redistribute more than 110,000 hectares of privately-held property to landless farmers.

The land seizure is part of an agrarian reform effort led by President Hugo Chavez.

Since his 1998 election, President Chavez has enacted controversial reform laws, including a 2001 land law aimed at narrowing the gap between Venezuela's rich and poor.

The law allows the government to redistribute unused land to the poor.

Critics say the law violates property rights, and could lead to illegal land grabs.

One of four estates to be redistributed includes a 13,000 hectare cattle ranch owned by a British company. The company has said it legally owns the property, and that the land is fully productive.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.