The MST issues a statement about the current political situation and agrarian reform
The political crisis that began after the re-election of Dilma Rousseff and the offensive by the opposition and the most conservative sectors of the country has given us some warnings.
In the face of the national and international political situation, one of the main warnings is not to equate the political struggle with the electoral struggle and to not succumb to the pitfalls of traditional politics.
That said, the Movement is issuing its official position on the current political crisis and the current situation of agrarian reform in the country.
In addition to denouncing the persecution, killings and the criminalization of social movements in the city and in the countryside and criticizing the austerity that has impacted the working class very severely, the Movement is demanding that the federal government makes it a priority to settle all the 120,000 families in encampments (some for over ten years), establish a National Plan of Healthy Food Production and implement the National Agroecology Program, approved in 2012 and still not implemented.
THE POSITION OF THE MST ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION AND THE SITUATION OF AGRARIAN REFORM
1. The Brazilian people have built democracy in the contradictions of class struggle. We still have a long way to go, but we will not allow any setback in the rights won in our people's struggle.
2. We built the BRAZILIAN PEOPLE'S FRONT, and all the initiatives of the Brazilian working class struggles to defend their rights and national causes, such as the mobilization scheduled for October 2 and 3 to advocate for changes in economic policy and the oil dispute, for the Brazilian people. In the face of projects to privatize Petrobras and deliver the pre-sal, breaking the rules of sharing and royalties for education.
3.We recognize the existence of a global economic crisis, but we do not believe that the workers should pay this bill. We are against the austerity measures and consider that the Dilma government is implementing neoliberal adjustment measures that harm workers' rights and slash social investments. We express our total disagreement with the current economic policy. And we demand that at least the President implements the program that got her elected.
4. The program for agrarian reform, which was already weak, suffered an aggressive cut of 64% in the MDA budget (Ministry of Agrarian Development) and the budget of INCRA (National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform). Moreover, these agencies are threatened with being closed down.
5. We reject the suspension by the central government, yielding to pressure from large farmers, of Instruction n.83, which established rules to speed processes for obtaining land, mainly in areas with slave labor.
6. We demand that the federal government implement the commitments made by President Dilma, in audience with the national coordination of the MST held in December 2014, which agreed on the following:
a) Priority settlement of all the 120,000 families currently in encampments (some for more than 10 years). Present a plan with goals;
b) Develop on an emergency basis a development project for the settlements, ensuring the necessary infrastructure;
c) Implement the agro-industry program for settlements;
d) Have a National Plan for Healthy Food Production. Implement the National Program of Agroecology, approved in 2012 and still waiting to be implemented;
e) Ensure the release of credits for families, as a fundamental right for the development of food production, especially to women, ensuring their economic autonomy;
f) Release and extend the capabilities needed for the Food Acquisition Program and strengthen the National School Nutrition Policy;
g) Ensure that all families in settlements have Technical Assistance. Ensure the management and operation of the National Rural Technical Assistance Agency together with the executive agencies for family farming;
h) Ensure resources for rural housing projects, especially for the 120,000 settlement families who do not own homes;
i) Free up the necessary resources for rural schools and especially for the PRONERA projects (National Education Program in Agrarian Reform).
7. We denounce the persecution, killings and the criminalization of social movements. It is not a crime to struggle! We condemn the massacre orchestrated by agribusiness and the conservative forces against indigenous peoples, especially the Guarani people - Kaiowá. We demand the veto of the Anti-Terror law proposed by the executive branch, approved by Congress.
8. We will always struggle in defense of agrarian reform and to ensure the rights of our social base. We are committed to unified mobilization in the Brazilian countryside, with all the organizations and movements impacted by agribusiness and mining.
9. The current situation of the class struggle summons us to the political struggle, spelled out in our specific slogans. Structural changes and the pressure to carry out the popular and structural reforms such as the agrarian reform, urban reform, political reform, the democratization of the media, university reform, go through an extensive process of social mobilization and strengthening of partnerships with the working class of the countryside and the city. Let's carry on with the struggle!
São Paulo, September 11, 2015.
National Leadership of the MST