In late 2005, Biritiba-Mirim Mayor Roberto Pereira da Silva put forth a proposal to the town council that the city should enact a prohibition on the death of its human residents. This proposal, obviously a bit hard to enforce, is a sort of satirical protest in response to a national law prohibiting the expansion of cemetery space or the creation of new cemetery space in certain areas deemed environmentally sensitive or significant. This law has put a hardship on the town whose cemetery space had been recently exhausted but where people continue to die.
Sitting atop the underground water source for approximately 2 million people in the city of São Paulo and being partially composed of protected forest land, Biritiba-Mirim has fallen under the national restrictions on new cemetery space and has thus had to resort to drastic measures in order to cope with the lack of space for the burial of their dead, including the requiring of the sharing of crypts and the burying of bodies under sidewalks.
Biritiba-Mirim is not the only town to be affected by the environmental restrictions either. Dozens of other towns in the surrounding area have faced similar difficulties. Officials for Biritiba-Mirim are hoping that exceptions approved by environmentalists can be made.