[11/7/2005] President Lula Meets with Wife of MST Leader, José Rainha

President Lula meets with wife of MST leader, José Rainha
By José Machio
[11/7/2005] Folha de São Paulo

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met with Diolinda Aves de Souza, wife of MST leader José Rainha Jr., after he spoke in Assis, São Paulo.

Diolinda stated that she shared “a coffee" with the president – that he expressed his solidarity with and concern for the situation and for the couples’ two children. Rainha was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and is currently a fugitive of the law.

“He expressed his solidarity and wanted to know how our children are doing", Diolinda stated. “He said that since he had gone through this same situation [imprisonment], he understood Rainha’s situation and that of the children".

The leader of the MST (Landless Workers’ Movement) from Pontal do Paranapanema, São Paulo, said that she took this opportunity to invite the president once again to visit the region on the 26th of November.

When the sentencing took place, José Rainha Jr. was in Brasília meeting with mayors from the MAP (Municipalities in the Pontal with Land Reform Settlements), and had planned on inviting Lula to the region for a visit.

“He expressed his interest in visiting the Pontal and any of the settlements in the region, we are going to see if this can be arranged‿, Diolinda added. An hour before Lula’s arrival in Assis, she made it known that she was in the city to support Lula and that even with the failure to achieve the settlement goals [400,000 families by 2006], “the landless movement will continue to move forward with Lula‿.

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