Brazilian society faces, in the rural milieu, distinct problems needing different solutions. We have serious problems and emergencies that require urgent action. There are about 150,000 families of landless laborers living under black tarps, camping, fighting for the rights that are in the Constitution to have land to work. For this problem, the government needs to do a real joint effort among the various agencies and settle the families in lands that exist in abundance throughout the country. Remember that Brazil uses for agriculture only 10% of its total area.
A federal court in Brazil has ordered the immediate suspension of work on the huge Belo Monte hydro-electric dam in the Amazon.
The court says local indigenous people have not been properly consulted. Officials point out that the builders of the dam will be able to appeal against the decision. Once completed, the 11,000-megawatt dam, in Brazil's Para state, would be the third largest hydro-electric dam in the world. Belo Monte would only be smaller than the Three Gorges in China, and Itaipu which is jointly run by Brazil and Paraguay. The project, which has been heavily criticised by environmentalists, was approved by the Brazilian Congress in 2005. It is expected to flood a vast area of tropical forest.
By Jose Coutinho Junior
The Minister of Agrarian Development (MDA), Pepe Vargas, in an interview with Carta Maior declared the decrease in the coming years of the number of families settled pursuant to agrarian reform.
The minister also claims that the number of families living in the encampments has decreased. For Alexandre Conceição, from the National Coordination of the MST, the statements mask the reality of the Brazilian countryside.
Check out the interview with the Página do MST:
FINAL DECLARATION OF THE PEOPLES’ SUMMIT AT RIO+20 FOR SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IN DEFENSE OF THE COMMONS, AGAINST THE COMMODIFICATION OF LIFE
By Felipe Milanez in Washington
The Embassy of Brazil in Washington, a modernist building that contrasts with the classical properties of the beautiful Embassy Row, the sector of embassies of the U.S. capital, hosted on Monday April 9th a march that brought together about one hundred people, including students, activists and Brazilians living in the region, who demonstrated during the visit of President Rousseff the city.
The protest, according to organizers, had four reasons: the violence in the countryside, especially in the Amazon; the impunity of the masterminds and executors of these crimes; changes in the Brazilian Forestry Code; and the construction of large dams in the Amazon.
Amid the flags of the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST), posters stamped images of the couple José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and Maria do Espirito Santo da Silva, murdered on May 24, 2011. They were next to pictures of Dorothy Stang, Chico Mendes and a scene of the burial of 19 landless workers killed in the massacre of Eldorado dos Carajas in 1996.
The votes are in! Vale, the Brazilian mining company, has been voted the worst company in the world. Vale received 25,042 votes edging out Tepco, Japan’s large energy company which blatantly disregarded structural safety of its nuclear plants resulting in the post-tsunami disaster.
By Luiz Felipe Albuquerque
Agriculture has undergone a major transformation in Brazil over the past 10 years, with the advancement of the agribusiness model. This model is based on: the production of monocultures on large estates; in an alliance of capitalist farmers, transnational corporations and financial capital; a mechanization that promotes expelling families from the countryside; and in an excessive use poisons, the agro-toxins.
Everywhere in the world large multinationals determine the political game. One of the biggest global players is Bayer AG, present in all countries. The former subsidiaries of IG Farben (BASF, Bayer and Hoechst) dominate the European chemical industry and have an annual volume of 90 billion euros. No government or political institution, can escape the influence of this powerful mechanism.
by Gerson Teixeira
Groups representing rural workers are negotiating measures with the government which would ease rural-credit debts owed by settled and family farmers.