[11-06-09] MST Informa #175 We Will Not Be Silent

Plots of the ruling class - sectors of the judiciary, the Congress, the national court of accounts, prosecutors and the media - are crafting another offensive against the MST and the workers. We can see that offensive in the creation of another CPI to investigate the movement, the third installed in the last four years. This offensive is also shown by the reaction of the media in the face of protests in Pará. In addition to police harassment and directing the State to act as protector of the plantation, now the ruling class seeks to delegitimize the peasant movement, with the intention to create a social revulsion against organized labor. They have presented our movement not only as violent, but also as an agent of corruption. This does not mean that the old formulas have been abandoned. In several states, the gunmen also opened fire on the landless, sometimes in daylight. Recently, we remember the murder of Elton Brum, in Rio Grande do Sul, or 18 workers shot by armed escort of Agropecuária Santa Barbara, in Pará The agents, defenders of the agrarian structure of the country, do not want to show that Brazil has the worst concentration of land in the world. Brazil never had Agrarian Reform, unlike all the developed countries. Agribusiness, which says it is developed, produces less than 15% of food that goes to the table of the population. The revision of productivity indexes [Ed. Note - productivity indexes are the basis to determine if land is subject to agrarian reform under the Brazilian constitution] have been delayed since 1975. There are still large estates, now allied with transnational corporations, that still kill, torture, exploit and oppress the workers. Brazil has not answered its historical debt to the rural poor. And we will not give up fighting, to denounce the crimes that are committed every day. Those companies that advertise on television are stealing the land of the Union, as is the case of Cutrale, in Sao Paulo. Agribusiness is exploiting the land with a ridiculous amount of pesticides, giving Brazil the title of the largest consumer of poisons in the world. And because we will not stop talking, they continue chasing us. We are organizing an international campaign to denounce the criminalization process that the MST and the rural poor have been suffering. We call the actions of state agents, such as politicians and the media, which seek to repress social movements and their activists as criminals, or to make that repression happen, criminal. They want to isolate, remove the support that Brazilian society has historically given to Agrarian Reform. But we are aware. Recently, a manifesto, subscribed to by intellectuals with the signatures of over five thousand people, denounced the criminalization of our struggle. Now we are going through international bodies so the world will know what the backward sectors of Brazil does to its workers. We went to the International Labor Organization (ILO), Switzerland, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an organ of the Organization of American States (OAS), in Washington, the United States. And most importantly: we pledge to continue defending the Constitution, which says that the land must fulfill its social function. If they want to criminalize the struggle for a right, it is our duty to denounce the immense injustice that shaped the construction of this country. We will not be silent. Secretariat of the MST