[SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN] The Chico Mendes Encampment, here we produce dignity! **DRAFT LETTER INCLUDED**
Solidarity Campaign: The Chico Mendes Encampment, here we produce dignity!
For more than two years, nearly 500 rural landless workers from the Chico Mendes Encampment have fought for the ownership for 580 hectares of land of the Engenho São João. This is part of the Usina Tiúma, owned by the Votorantim Group, one the businesses that owns many plantations and large estates in Brazil.
The farm has been idle for 17 years, since the Usina Tiúma closed. Some of those now living on the land are the ex-employees of the farm. After its closure, the workers no longer have fixed employment and are without work and homes.
Today the families suffer from the constant threat of eviction. Last year, the occupants of the Chico Mendes Encampment were subjected to a violent eviction enforced by the riot division of the military policy of Pernambuco.
Now the workers are once again threatened with imminent threat of forced eviction owing to a legal ruling that the ownership of the land should be resolved. Incra and the Votorantim Group are in negotiations, aiming to include the land in the rural reform programme in return for the cancellation of the debts of the farm.
Faced with this situation, lawyers and human rights organizations have gone to the Tribunal of Justice of the State of Pernambuco and succeeded in delaying the forced eviction of the families by 90 days. Those 90 days are nearly at an end and until now further negotiations have produced no results.
Faced with a further imminent violation of human rights, we are launching this campaign and appeal that Engenho São João become the permanent property of the workers of the Chico Mendes Encampment.
To participate in the campaign, send your letter to Senhor Antônio Ermínio de Moraes, president of the Votarantim Group, and to the partners in the Group [FAX #s BELOW] . The annexed letter should be preferably be sent by fax to the numbers listed, or if necessary, they can be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and copied to email@example.com.
Send Fax to:
Votorantim Participações S.A.
(PLEASE SEND TO BOTH NUMBERS)
Fax (from U.S.): 011 55 11 3079-9345
Fax (from U.S.): 011 55 11 3224-0656
Send your fax today! Help those who seek to continue to live with dignity!
[DRAFT LETTER BELOW]
Votorantim, don't end this right!
To: Mr. Antônio Ermínio de Moraes and the Votorantim Advisory Group
I want to express my support for the occupation of 500 hectares of the Tiúma Ranch by farmers from the Landless Workers Movement (MST.)
The occupation of these lands, which began in 2004, has ensured the survival of hundreds of people, among them children and elderly people. Only by guaranteeing the right to land for these farmers can their economic, social, and cultural rights, granted by the Brazilian Constitution, be realized.
So we are asking Votorantim to allow these rights to continue to be assured, pending the following appeals:
1.Suspension of the Reintegration of Ownership Nº 237.2004.000.238-4 da 1ª Vara Cível da Comarca de São Lourenço da Mata - PE
2.Offer of the lands of the Tiúma Usina to INCRA,so that they can be used for Agrarian Reform
[NAME OF ORGANIZATION]