MST Informas

[06/20/06] MST Informa #119: Plant agroecology in the heart of the world

Dear Friends of the MST,

We would like to share a portion of text below, written by the Benedictine monk Marcelo Barros for the Fifth Conference of Agroecology—Developing a Popular and Sovereign Project for Agriculture. The encounter occurred in Cascavel, Paraná on June 7-10, where it brought together more than 5,000 agriculturists from across the state to exchange experiences and discuss agroecological production and sustainable development. The complete document can be found on the MST website on the internet.

[06/07/06] MST PRESS RELEASE: MST not involved in June 6th actions in Brasilia

From: João Pedro Stedile, of MST’s National Coordinating Body
To: Friends of the MST

Journalist Juan Arias, correspondent for EL PAIS and Rio, recently published incorrect information regarding the recent events in Brasilia [as did BBC Online, SEE BELOW]. In response, the MST released the following message, to be shared with media outlets throughout Brazil and abroad.

[05/19/06] MST Informa #117: Against barbarism, study; against individualism, solidarity

Dear friends of the MST

In the name of our commitment to the struggle against obscurantism and backwardness, two strong instruments of domination of the Brazilian elite, the MST has worked to ensure basic teaching for thousands of children, youth, and adults in rural areas in more than 1200 primary public schools and in dozens of secondary schools installed in our settlements. Besides this, in the name of the same struggle, the MST saw the need for a National School for activists from the popular movements, a project that culminated in the January 2005 inauguration of the Florestan Fernandes National School in the municipality of Guararema, in São Paulo state.

[04/17/06] MST Update #113: April 17th - International Day of Peasant Struggle

Dear Friends of the MST,

Monday, April 17th, will mark the ten-year commemoration of the Eldorado dos Carajás Massacre (PA)...We all know the story of the Massacre. The extreme violence officially left 19 workers dead. Another three died afterwards as a consequence of reactions to the Massacre. Even today it is not certain if this number corresponds to the reality. “I think that more than 100 people died. I want to know about the children and women who were there...

[04/04/06] MST Update #112: Seeds, Land, and Water: The Ides of March

The south of Brazil, confluence of the strongest social movements from Brazil and Latin America was, during March, the scene of a confrontation between the peasant movements and the transnational corporations, with the United Nations as a backdrop. Between March 5th and 31st, one after another, there were UN Conferences on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, the Third Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena International Protocol on Biosecurity, and the Eighth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. While this was going on, the Fourth World Forum on Water was held in Mexico.

[03/14/06] MST Informa #111 - Research for life, not for death!

On March 8, two thousand women from La Via Campesina Brazil occupied an area belonging to the Aracruz Cellulose Corporation in Barra do Ribeiro (RS). The date (International Women’s Day) and the place (close to where the Second International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development was taking place) was symbolically chosen to demonstrate the anger of these farm women with the commodification of agriculture that is going on today.

[03/03/2006] MST Informa 110: For a Genuine, Integral and Participatory Agrarian Reform

Dear Friends of the MST,

We are sharing a report with you on this occasion of the Second Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development sponsored by the UN Agency for Food and Agriculture (FAO), to be held from March 7 to 10 in Porto Alegre, RS. The Conference intends to discuss among other things the type of Agrarian Reform that countries should adopt. The choice of Porto Alegre is symbolic for the model that is currently under way: the state has one of the worst implementations in Brazil with a little more than 200 Landless families settled in the last four years. More than 2600 remain camped alongside the unproductive latifundios. It is a reflection of a policy that puts a priority on agribusiness instead of family farming, on exports instead of food for the Brazilian people. To ensure a better future, Via Campesina International and the MST will be in Porto Alegre, discussing and building alliances that can alter the relation of forces in the countryside.

[02/03/06] MST Informa 108: Sepé and the living ruins

Dear Friends of the MST,

In this edition we are promoting the 250-year anniversary celebrations of Sepé Tiaraju’s death, which will happen next week in São Gabriel (Rio Grande do Sul). The MST proudly follows the legacy of courage, struggle, dedication to a cause, a spirit of sacrifice and love of land left to us by Sepé and the Guarani people. Before dying in 1756, the indigenous