RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) — Rural landless workers in Brazil stepped up their campaign for agricultural reform Thursday by holding several demonstrations and occupying a hydroelectric plant and freeway toll stations, their organization said. The protests were part of the Landless Farmworkers Movement's "Red April" operation to force the government to give them land grants and easier access to public loans for some 150,000 dispossessed families living in shantytowns around the country. Demonstrations took place in the states of Ceara, Pernambuco, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Parana, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, Paraiba and Para.
Worldwide Peasant Struggles
Stora Enso's Brazilian Imbroglio by Maurna Desmond, Forbes.com Paper maker Stora Enso is catching heat from activists in Brazil who recently invaded its factory and blocked major roads. The Finnish-Swedish company wants to plant roots in South America, but the locals haven't been very welcoming. On Wednesday, Brazilian land rights group Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) blocked eight roads in the Rio Grande do Sul state in Brazil to protest alleged police violence against peaceful and predominantly female activists a day earlier. MST says 900 protesters had invaded the 5200-acre Stora Enso tree farm. Police authorities report a head count of 600. The firm's stock has remained at $12.40 all day Thursday.
Dear Friends of the MST, As we conveyed in the most recent MST Informa, many NGOs and social movements in Brazil are against government's plan to redirect water from the São Francisco river.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 14 (IPS) - The upper echelons of the Brazilian Catholic Church have decided to lend their support to Bishop Luiz Cappio, who is on hunger strike against the diversion of water from the Sao Francisco river, after the government confirmed it would go ahead with the project.
The authorities argue that the work is essential to provide water for millions of poor people in the semi-arid northeast, the country’s poorest region.
The decision by the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB) was announced after a meeting between high-ranking Church representatives and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who told them that the project would continue, and that it was the Church’s own responsibility to intercede with Cappio to give up his fast, which he began on Nov. 27.
Current global modes of production, consumption and trade have caused massive environmental destruction including global warming that is putting at risk our planet’s ecosystems and pushing human co
Dear friends of the MST,
The Brazilian people are being bombarded day after day with lies and manipulations of the big media regarding the situation in Venezuela. Allegations range from its government being dictatorial to mass exodus of its people, to starvation of the population and daily violence by the police against citizens on the streets.
Shortly after the beginning of the 7th International Conference of La Vía Campesina in Basque Country, we interviewed Marina Dos Santos, who is a member of the organization that founded this international network of peasants: the Landless Workers’ Movement of Brazil.
Maria Luisa Mendonça is the coordinator of the Network for Social Justice and Human Rights in Brazil and director of the Feminist Alliance for Rights at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University.