More Than a Thousand Women March Against Pesticides in Ceará [3-2-11]

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Over 1,000 women from the social movements of Ceará, the MST, the Movement of People's Councils and the Center of Popular Movements, made two marches to denounce the negative impacts to human health and the environment with excessive use of pesticides in Brazil and impact.

In Fortaleza, more than 600 women marched towards the Palace of the Abolition of the State Government. In Santa Quitéria, 500 women protest against the installation of mine Itataia1.

The activities are part of the Day of Struggle of Women of the Via Campesina that realized actions in six states.

Below, read the note from the MST, the Movement of People's Councils and the Center of Popular Movements on the mobilizations in Ceará.

Throughout Brazil, the women of Via Campesina in conjunction with other urban movements have triggered the Day of Struggles of Women to condemn the excessive use of pesticides by Brazilian cultivation, the responsibility of the production model of agribusiness.

Brazil ranks first in the list of countries consuming pesticide since 2009. More than a billion gallons of poisons are dumped on crops, according to data from the National Association of Industrial Products for the Defense of Agriculture.

In Ceará we are doing two demonstrations, one in Santa Quitéria with 500 women, protesting against the installation of the Itataia mine and the other in Fortaleza, Palace of the Abolition with 600 women and men who are fighting for housing rights and social rights for women.

Fortaleza is the fifth largest city in the country, with over three million inhabitants. Here there are about 96 areas, where more than 100 000 families are in precarious conditions. This inequality is also a result of large concentration of land and real estate development imposed by the large economic groups that receive public funding from governments, such as fiscal and financial incentives to implement their projects.
According to IBGE [Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics] data over 900 000 people live on less than R$ 1.50 dollars per day in our city. On the other hand the city has the 15th largest municipal GDP of the nation and second in the Northeast, with 24.4 billion dollars, being one of the most important industrial  and commercial centers of Brazil with the seventh highest purchasing power in the country.
Our staff in Fortaleza is lay claim to the public authorities, public housing for low income families, because according to studies Fortaleza is among the worst capitals in the implantation of the "My Home My Life"2 program.  So we want housing and the right to city.
We charge also state the applicability of the Maria da Penha law3, with more service structures, and the protection of  women victims of this violence.



Editor’s Notes:

1Uranium mine located in Santa Quitéria, Ceará waiting for environmental and other approvals.

2 Minha Casa Minha Vida, one of the world’s most ambitious social housing programs, aims to build 3 million homes by the end of 2014 and reduce the housing shortfall for low-income Brazilians by almost 40%. Since its start in late 2009, the program has been hugely successful and is heavily over-subscribed throughout Brazil.

3 Brazil's Federal Law 11340, also called Lei Maria da Penha (Maria da Penha Law) was put in place with the intent of reducing domestic violence. Among the changes initiated by the law was an increase in punishment for those who practice domestic violence towards women. The name of the law is a tribute to Maria da Penha Maia, a woman whose ex-husband attempted to murder her twice, causing her to become paraplegic. Today she is a notable figure in the movement for women’s rights in Brazil.  See for more information.