Day of Global Action Against Syngenta starts tomorrow

Day of Global Action Against Syngenta starts tomorrow

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November 7, 2007

It’s fairly short notice, but Via Campesina has organized a Global Day of Action against Syngenta Seeds for the recent attack against the peaceful protest, during which a local MST leader, Valmir Mota de Oliviera (also known as Keno; pictured right) was shot dead. Several others were also injured and threatened.

See below for Via Campesina’s call to action, followed by some email addresses and sample letters you can send in Solidarity.

Thursday, 01 November 2007
Call to action for the 8th of November!

To: Organisations of Via Campesina, allies and friends
From: The International Coordinating Committee of Via Campesina (CCI)

In response to the events of the past 21st of October, where armed guards contracted by Syngenta, a Swiss transnational corporation which produces genetically modified crops and seeds, invaded the Tierra Libre campsite of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST) which is affiliated to the Via Campesina in Parana, Brazil. The armed men entered and shot dead Valmir Mota de Oliviera, also known as Keno, a leader of the MST, injured several others, and made death threats against the other land workers present in the campsite.

We call:
On all organizations and movements to organize protest actions at Syngenta offices in the countries where they are based, and to hand deliver letters to the Brazilian and Swiss embassies, with the following demands:
1. The punishment of the material perpetrators and intellectual authors of this crime.
2. Expropriation of Syngenta lands, to be used for the production of native seeds, and that these lands be administered by rural peasants and farm workers.
3. The expulsion of Syngenta from Brazil.
4. That the Brazilian government headed by President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva adopt measures to ensure the physical integrity of the rural farm workers who are threatened by the armed men contracted by Syngenta.
5. That all organisations back up the initiatives of Amnesty International in their call to repudiate and condemn the actions of Syngenta.
6. That all organisations of Via Campesina in all countries organize days of action and protest in the Swiss and Brazilian Embassies, as well as at the offices of Syngenta this Thursday 8th November and on the 10th of December condemning this criminal act.
7. To send letters of protest to the following addresses:

Governador do Estado do Paraná
Exmo Governador do Estado do Paraná
Sr. Roberto Requião de Mello e Silva
Palácio Iguaçu
Praça Nossa Senhora de Salete, s/nº, 3º andar
Centro Cívico 80.530-909
Curitiba/PR – Brasil
Fax: + 55 41 3350 2935
Saudação: Vossa Excelência/ Your Excellency

Ministro da Justiça
Exmo Ministro da Justiça
Sr. Tarso Genro
Esplanada dos Ministérios, Bloco “T”
70712-902 – Brasília/DF – Brasil
Fax: + 55 61 3322-6817
Saudação: Vossa Excelência/ Your Excellency

Cópias para:
Secretaria Especial de Direitos Humanos
Exmo. Secretário Especial
Sr. Paulo de Tarso Vannuchi
Esplanada dos Ministérios – Bloco “T” – 4º andar
70.064-900 – Brasília/DF – Brasil
Fax: + 55 61 3226 7980
Saudação: Vossa Excelência/ Your Excellency

Copia al MST Brasil y Via Campesina :
Send us a short report and photos of the actions organized to:


1. Mail to the Governor of Paraná in support of the expropriation of the experimental site.

Sample Letter

Your Excellent Governor Roberto Requião:

We support your initiative to expropriate Syngenta´s illegal experimental site in Brazil in order to turn it into a school for agroecology. We stand with Your Excellency in solidarity in the face of the pressure the multinational is exerting against the Government of Paraná.

The environmental crime committed by Syngenta in Brazil was a demonstration of the total irresponsibility with which which the multinationals of Biotechnology have treated the environment and the health of the population, in addition to breaking the norms of biosecurity.

Thus, we ask Your Excellency to continue to take all of the necessary measures in order to maintain the expropriation of the experimental site, as well as to permit the family farmers of the Via Campesina to remain there.



2. Mail to Syngenta Seeds demanding that it cease its pressure to expel the 120 families that occupy the experimental site.

Sample Letter

To Syngenta Seeds

We have followed closely the situation of the ilegal experimental site that Syngenta maintains in Brazil, which was occupied by the Via Campesina more than one year ago.

It is an embarrasment that Syngenta has still not paid the fine levied upon it by IBAMA, and, additionally, is pressuring the Governor of the State of Paraná to send the military police to violently expel the 120 families that are occupying the area. This will create a situation that will put the children and elderly people who reside there at risk.

As citizens, we demand that Syngenta recognize its wrongdoing, pay the fine to the Government of Brazil, and permit the State of Paraná to expropriate the area in order to transform it into a School for Agroecology.



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