[10-5-09] MST Informa #173: With society’s support, we keep fighting

We would like to thank everyone who has shown their solidarity with our movement and contributed towards the denunciations against the attack on democracy, promoted by the reactionary sectors of the country. The announcement of the dismissal of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry against the MST is a sign of the isolation of rural parties, represented by Senator Kátia Abreu (DEM-TO) and the federal deputies Ronaldo Caiado (DEM-GO) and Onyx Lorenzoni (DEM-RS). Frightened by the announcement of an update of the productivity indexes, they tried to avoid the debate over the viability of agribusiness. The 2006 Farming Census, published this week by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), proves what we have been denouncing: the concentration of land has increased in Brazil in the last 10 years. Our country has to deal with the absurd fact that private landowners own 46% of its lands; these owners have properties containing more than 1000 hectares. The IBGE has pointed out that properties with less than 10 hectares control just 2.7% of Brazilian territory. This is the result of our farming model: big, transnational corporations take possession of most of our lands, controlling the production and sale of grain and commodities, to the same degree in which they control our natural resources. And the perversion continues: Even with controlling the largest part of territory and using toxins in large proportions, the study shows that 56% of the establishments use toxic pesticides without any criteria or control. Isn’t agribusiness responsible for the food that arrives at the Brazilian worker’s table? Small-scale agriculture is responsible for 85% of the production of all food. It is where 85% of people in the countryside find work. So we ask ourselves: Based on this data, how can we justify that agribusiness receives 43.6% of public resources for production? Why do rural workers have so much fear of complying with the law that calls for an update of the productivity indexes? Why don’t they want to accept the failure of their model, which concentrates land, expels workers from the field, doesn’t produce food, abuses the use of toxins, degrades the environment, and feeds transnational safes? We insist on the need to think of another model for Brazilian agriculture. We will keep fighting the battle against agribusiness and take on the need for a massive, popular agricultural reform that can prevent the concentration of land, prioritize the need for healthy food for all of society, democratize education, and stimulate the population to remain in rural areas by proving a quality life. Fortified with support from more than 4,000 people who signed the manifesto, we commit to keep on marching, as we have for the past 25 years, fighting for a just society. We know that we are not alone, and because of your support, we also know that we are on the right path. MST National Secretariat