MST Warns About New Peasant Massacre in Para
Brazil in focus ⬿

MST Warns About New Peasant Massacre in Para

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July 5, 2007

The Landless Workers’ Movement of Brazil (MST) has warned that a massacre could took place in Para state, similar to the one that occurred in 1996 in Eldorado de Carajas municipality. The warning comes after an official authorization of the military police in Para to evict those living on several plots of land — currently over 2,000 families.

From Real World Radio – The military police of Para is ready to comply with 49 orders of “reintegration of large estate properties” occupied by peasants. The MST, which has over 2,000 families camping in Parasaid it will resist the actions of the military police, Radioagencia Noticias do Planalto reports.

A member of the movement’s national coordination, Ulisses Manaças, who was born in Para, fears clashes between the peasants and the military police during the evictions and that a new massacre takes place like the one in Eldorado de Carajás.

On April 17th, 1996, the military police of Para killed 19 MST peasants and injured other 69 while they were demonstrating to demand access to land. That date has become very important for the peasant movements of Brazil and around the world, and it has become a symbol of the peasant struggle. In fact, every April 17th the International Peasants Struggle Day is celebrated.

The military police of Para decided that San Marcos estate, in Parauaebas municipality, will be the last one to be evicted. According to Radioagencia Noticias de Planalto, MST peasants are camping in this plot of land, who consider the occupation is a symbolic measure in the struggle for land. The estate belongs to Donizete, who is accused by the Attorney’s Office of ordering the murder of two MST leaders in 1998.

Manaças warned that if a tragedy occurs during the evictions, Para’s governor Ana Julia Carepa, from the ruling Workers Party will be held responsible. The peasant leader considers Carepa should not have authorized the evictions without carrying out a survey of the occupied lands.

“We believe there is a gap between the Judiciary and the social movements that should be filled by the state. The state should monitor the areas, use the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform to carry out expropriations, since all these areas have property title problems”, Manaças said.

“So, the state needed to have an intervention, at least, to present the workers with an alternative if productivity was verified in the areas, and the property titles were found to be genuine. But that is not happening”, he said. (source)

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