Statement Against the Criminalization of Social Movements and Violence in Rural Areas
The Coupist Government is responsible for the murders of indigenous and quilombola people and landless rural workers. The coup that overthrew President Dilma Rousseff, promoted by the Globo media conglomerate and the National Congress, with the connivance of the Federal Supreme Court (FSC), not only violated the 1988 Federal Constitution and placed a gang to command the Executive Power. The coup released the most reactionary and violent forces of the large estate and agribusiness.
Who are the victims? Peasants, natives, quilombolas and workers in general. In the Congress elected by the companies’ legalized villainy, the ruralist group seeks to approve without debating with society laws that attack social and labor rights, which promote environmental destruction, cover up slave labor and delay the demarcation of indigenous lands and quilombolas. Now they want to remove social welfare for the people of the countryside and transform the salary of peasants into an exchange of work for food and housing.
In rural Brazil, large estate owners and agribusinesses hire gunmen and arm their employees to kill, illegally arrest, torture, intimidate and expel the poor from the land.
On April 19, in Colniza, Mato Grosso, people commemorated the 21-year anniversary of the El Dorado dos Carajas Massacre, where nine peasants were tied down, tortured and killed with knife stabs and shots fired with 12-gauge shotguns.
On April 24, Silvino Nunes Gouveia, a militant of the MST from Minas Gerais, was killed with ten shots outside of his house. On the 30th, in Viana, Maranhão, 13 indigenous people were injured by armed men working for large estates.
Is it merely a coincidence that this violence is occurring precisely in the same month that federal deputy Jair Bolsonaro, during a panel in Hebraica Club, Rio de Janeiro, spurted out his criminal verbiage, attacking indigenous and quilombola communities? He defended his position of ending the indigenous reserves and the quilombos. Before that, in Paraíba, he had already promised bullets for the Landless Workers.
There is an escalation of violence that, since last year, has been escalating in numbers and intensity. According to the Pastoral Land Commission (Commission Pastorale de la Terre, CPT), only in 2016, 61 people were killed in rural conflicts; which is the highest number since 2003. Presently, there are several areas under threat of evictions and in permanent tension.
We denounce the situation of the families who reoccupied their own lands, which had been stolen by the Cabral/Eike society in Batista, Sao Joao da Barra, Rio de Janeiro.
In Limoeiro, Ceará, an irrigation project of the DNOCS (Department of Works Against Droughts) is being occupied by 400 families who are facing eviction threats by the DNOCS itself. In the region of Montes Claros, Mato Grosso, hundreds of families are being harassed by armed employees of the large estate owners, who have already beendenounced for corruption in the Federal Public Ministry.
In various states, we have comrades who have been unjustly imprisoned for the ‚crime‘ of struggling for land, without any sort of trial, and others resisting imprisonment, without the right to live in freedom. We blame the coupist government for those crimes. Instead of punishing the real criminals, Temer’s government is more concerned about forgiving the debts of the large estate owners to ensure they continue to support them in Congress and legitimize the seats they usurped, and avoiding trial for the ‚Lava-Jato‘ corruption cause. They even threat to sell our land to foreign capital.
We blame the media under the direction of the Globo Network for the criminalization of rural popular movements and indigenous peoples, which create a climate that legitimizes police repression and armed militias by the large estate owners. This behavior also promotes violence against urban people’s movements, as happened in Goiania, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, during the general strike.
We blamed the Judicial Power and the Public Ministry for being classist, selective in their actions, party-oriented and with a clear elitist and prejudiced behavior against the poor rural population.
We will continue struggling for the Agrarian Reform in our country and in defense of the demarcation of the indigenous lands and the quilombola population.
For a Popular Agrarian Reform that guarantees land to work, respect for nature and healthy food for all people!
2nd National Fair of Agrarian Reform
Landless Rural Workers Movement – MST