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!
The Pará court condemned, at the end of the night this Thursday (September 19, 2013), the plantation owner Vitalmiro Bastos de Moura, “Bida,” to 30 years in prison, initially without being able to leave prison*, for the death of Sister Dorothy Stang, as a coauthor and instigator of the crime. The trial, the fourth conducted after a new set of lawyers, lasted more than 14 hours. The verdict was read by Judge Raimundo Moisés Alves Flexa.
Dorothy Stang was shot dead in Anapu in southwestern Pará, on February 12, 2005. According to prosecutors, she was murdered because she defended the deployment of rural settlements for workers on public lands that were contested by ranchers and loggers in the region.
The rural social movements, which held a meeting earlier this week in Brasilia, launched a manifesto in defense of agrarian reform, rural development with the end of inequality, production and access to healthy foods, for agro-ecology and ensuring expansion of social rights for rural workers.
The most representative organizations of the rural areas in Brazil considered the gathering "a historic moment, a space qualified, with leaders of major organizations in the countryside awaiting the membership and commitment to this process."
For the complete Manifesto, click here.
The year is ending and again we have the feeling of accomplishment for all the struggles, activities, and alliances that we’ve built and engaged in with all the various sectors of the working class. In another difficult year we had to carry out great struggles against agribusiness that continues its offensive against our lands, natural resources, and public investments.
The Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) received the 2011 Food Sovereignty Prize. Inaugurated in 2009, the Food Sovereignty Prize, awarded by the Community Food Security Coalition at its 15th annual conference, held this year in Oakland California. The prize recognizes leaders in the global movement for food sovereignty. The movement works to ensure the right of all people to control their own food and agriculture systems in the face of a food crisis that has driven over a billion people into hunger worldwide. The MST has been recognized as the 2011 Food Sovereignty Prize winner for addressing the extreme disparities in land access in Brazil by organizing over 350,000 landless rural families to resettle and farm formerly idle land.
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