By Igor Carvalho and Glauco Faria
With a presence in 23 states and the Federal District and with more than 900 settlements with 150 thousand families, the MST celebrates its 30th anniversary this week.
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.
The 1st Continental Assembly of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) met between May 16-May 20. It brought together more than 200 delegates from 22 Latin American countries representing diverse social movements.
In an exclusive interview with the Portal IG, Gilmar Mauro, leader of the Landless Workers Movement, stated that the movement -- which has a constituency estimated to be around two million rural workers -- is building an alliance with urban sectors to take part in protests and put pressure on the Dilma administration to take concrete measures to confront social problems.
by Eduardo Scolese, of Agência Folha
João Pedro Stedile, 59, economist and leader of the Landless Workers Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra, MST), says that it is necessary to take advantage of the protests to create new mechanisms for popular participation in the destiny of the country.
If this doesn’t happen, he says, “the mobilizations will return stronger and more radical”.
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.
Brazilian society faces, in the rural milieu, distinct problems needing different solutions. We have serious problems and emergencies that require urgent action. There are about 150,000 families of landless laborers living under black tarps, camping, fighting for the rights that are in the Constitution to have land to work. For this problem, the government needs to do a real joint effort among the various agencies and settle the families in lands that exist in abundance throughout the country. Remember that Brazil uses for agriculture only 10% of its total area.
The Brazil Rainforest Movement launched an internet petition against the appointment of Senator Katia Abreu (PSD - TO) for the agriculture ministry of President Dilma Rousseff.
"The appointment of Katia Abreu would represent another step toward the interests of landowners and multinational agribusiness. If this action is confirmed it would be construed by us as a sign of definitive break of the federal government with sustainable development," says the petition.
Click here to sign the petition *