By Joana Tavares
Portal Minas Free
It was in November of 2004. Armed gunmen invaded the Promised Land Camp (Terra Prometida), in Felisburgo, in Jequitinhonha Valley, and killed five workers. Another twenty were seriously injured, and huts and crops burned. Nearly nine years later, accused of being the mastermind of the crime, Adriano Chafik, who publicly confessed to be present on the day of slaughter, will face his first jury. The trial, originally scheduled for January this year, has finally been re-scheduled for May 15 in Belo Horizonte.
Oppression of MST and Social Movements
By Joana Tavares
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.
MST leader Fábio Santos da Silva, assassinated on April 2 by 15 shots fired by gunmen in Iguaí, in the Southwest of Bahia, was buried on April 3.
The vigil for the body began in the Rural Community of Ribeirão das Flores and afterwards the body was taken to the City Hall of Iguaí, where the city can follow and share this moment of mourning and show solidarity with the grief of the family, friends, and men and women comrades in mourning.
On leaving the City Hall, families, friends, and MST activists held a march to the end of the city to accompany the coffin. On the way, a lot of music and chanting showed the people’s anger.
Under the Brazilian Constitution, landless families have the right to occupy arable land that is not being used in order to grow food to feed themselves.
Representatives of the State Secretariat for Human Rights, the State Program for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and the Ombudsman of the Department of Social Defense visited, on Tuesday (July 3, 2012), the Gregório Bezerra encampment in the city of Altinho, rural Pernambuco (PE).
The visit had as its main objective to present the results of several investigations open to punish acts of violence.
The camp has been the scene of systematic violence by gunmen hired by landowners of the farm Serro Azul, owned by Luis Reis, since April last year. Since the beginning of this year, the landowner has become even more violent and verbal threats and intimidation came to blows.
On March 22, Reiss beat Eraldo Alves da Silva, known as Seu Antonio, a landless workers in the encampment, while he was kept under the barrel of a gun, accompanied by two gunmen.
Dear Friends of the MST,
On behalf of my brothers and sisters of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) in Brazil, I salute you.
I write to tell you about the grave threats we are facing here in Pernambuco, Brazil, and ask for your help.
Relying on the absence of the state and on the collusion between judicial powers and local police, farmers in Pernambuco are intensifying violence against Landless rural workers in Pernambuco.
By Vanessa Ramos
During the reoccupation of the Rio dos Santos estate in Bom Jesus das Selves in Maranhão last Saturday (25), a pregnant woman of six months was knocked down by estate owner and land thief, José Osvaldo Damião. She ended up losing her baby.
An elderly man of 72 years was among other workers assaulted by the landowner and his gunmen.