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This paper analyzes conflicts and violence in Brazil involving landless peasants occupying privately-owned land, for the period 2000-2008. It is the first study to be undertaken at a national level, with a contemporary data span, using a count data model that allows for heterogeneity, endogeneity and dynamics. Results from the estimated model show that the violent land occupation grows with left-wing political support for land occupation, rural population density, and agricultural credit, and decreases with poverty, agricultural productivity. The study discusses the interconnection of land reform, poverty and conflict.