In an historic trial, a jury sentenced ruralista Mark Prochet to 15 years and nine months in prison for second degree murder, resorting to the defense that the victim was indefensible and had concealed other crimes. The trial ended around 10:00 pm and was attended by over 200 people in the 2nd Circuit Court in Curitiba, Paraná.
by Joao Pedro Stedile, National Coordination of the MST
It is usual to take advantage of the year-end period, forever doing the critical balance of losses, achievements and progress in the various sectors of activities of our society.
Unfortunately for workers who live in the countryside the balance of 2013 is anything but optimistic. Briefly we could track several defeats that the movement of capital in imposed.
The process of concentration of land ownership and agricultural production continues to accelerate and our natural resources are increasingly concentrated in the hands of fewer capitalists. There was an avalanche of foreign financial capital to control more land, more water, more plants, more agro-industries and virtually all foreign trade of agricultural commodities. And some of them are already buying up the oxygen of our forests, the famous way of carbon credit, then resold in European exchanges to permit Europe to maintain its pollution!
By Iris Pacheco of the MST's website
The Dilma government is responsible for the worst figures of land expropriation of the last 20 years. In 2012, only 28 rural estates met the decreed target. No real estate has been expropriated thus far in 2013. During the first term of this year, social movements in the countryside undertook several days of action with combined and specific agendas, bringing the urgent necessity of Agrarian Reform to the attention of the Brazilian government.
On Thursday, July 11, 2013, Brazil erupted in mobilizations, strikes, work stoppages, occupations and road blockades in a National Day of Struggle. Called for by CUT (Central Workers Union), an assortment of labor unions and a vast array of social movements, including the MST, the National Day of Struggle put forth specific demands for the working class and social movements, including a call for agrarian reform. The MST participated and helped lead this mobilization through the country.
The Friends of the MST has translated summaries of the July 11 mobilizations from various sources and presents information on this important struggle. Very few U.S. newspaper carried stories on this phase of the struggle in Brazil.
We have not had such vigorous street mobilizations since the campaign for “Rights Now” in the '80s. The protests which exploded with the youth indignation were just the tip of the iceberg of the profound social and economic problems that persist in our society. On one hand, the big cities have become a living hell, where workers pay high costs for low quality public transport. Besides that, they spend two or three hours a day traveling, a pure waste of time.
Those who managed to buy an automobile, financed by international finance capital, are realizing that they paid dearly for the ability not to be able to move. The auto assembly companies and the associated banks have never before sent so much money abroad.
On Friday July 5, rural organizations and social movements met with President Dilma Rousseff in the Planalto Palace in Brasilia. They demanded more flexibility and less bureaucracy in carrying out policies in the countryside. “It is necessary and urgent for the government to get rid of bureaucracy.
The MST expresses solidarity with the indigenous fighting in Mato Grosso do Sul in defending their territories and against the appropriation of land by agribusiness.
The Brazilian state, with the decision to expel the indigenous from the Buriti Fazenda and Federal Police action to repossess the occupied land in the municipality of Sidrolândia, acts to defend the right of agribusiness and large farmers, instead of fulfilling what is required by the Constitution.
Seventeen years have passed since that fateful April 17. On that day in 1996, a march of rural workers organized by the MST was blockaded and attacked by military police in the city of Eldorado dos Carajás, Pará state. 19 people were killed on the spot and 2 others died days afterwards. The day of the Eldorado dos Carajás massacre has officially become the National Day of Struggle for Land Reform.
by Wesley Lima
On April 8, the MST in Bahia started a state march fighting for Agrarian Reform. The march, which had close to five thousand rural workers without land from nine regions of the state, started in the municipality of Camaçari and continued in the direction of Salvador.
The Friends of the MST has translated three recent interviews with MST leaders on the state of agrarian reform in the face of the intrangience of the Brazilian government and the onslaught of international capital and agri-business.
João Pedro Stédile, a founder and coordinator of the MST estimates that the current moment is an ebb of the popular movement.First, an interview with João Pedro Stédile with ABCD Maior. Read the full interview here.
In an interview, Marina dos Santos, a member of the MST's National Coordination, discuss how Agrarian Reform came to a stop in 2012 and there were few investments by the government in production, in family farmers and in the settlements. Agrarian Reform is paralyzed because of the development model in question in Brazil today, agribusiness.¨ This is the analysis of Marina dos Santos, of the National Coordination of the MST. Read the interview here.
According to Gilmar Mauro, a member of the MST national leadership, “We are facing this very big offensive by the court in relation to the settlement areas. The Brazilian state, agribusiness, the state and federal governments are working together to prevent the advance of agrarian reform.” Read the interview here.