Landless MST Camps resisting neo-fascist Bolsonaro Regime

context: Financial and Landowning Oligarchy Looting the Country:     Corruption has always been  rampant among the Brazilian 1% elite and this was used to discredit the ‘leftist’ PT leaders(although corruption by the right is infinitely worse). Rightwing control of the judiciary was used to force out Dilma in an institutional coup and later to jail and disbar Lula, the clear favourite ‘socialist’ candidate for president.

The presidency went to a far right wing mafia boss, Bolsonaro, with a US spawned Trump style media campaign. Bolsonaro is using his presidential decrees; to try and open the country to selling off anything of value for commissions; for repression of the landless and impunity for the tiny minority of landowners who still own most of arable Brasil;  for open and continuous racist and anti gay and feminist statements, thus unleashing a flood of attacks; for trying to abolish Indigenous rights and land titles; for opening the Amazon and all areas to mining, logging, ranching, etc..

But above all the US supported Bolsonaro regime is about trying to abolish all progressive measures, health, education, pensions, food aid etc,  which have partly lifted the people from poverty, serfdom, ignorance and gender based oppression in recent years. Bolsonaro proudly advocates dictatorial rule  with death squads, torture and police and army repression.. Even so the EU has now signed a trade deal, thus legitimizing and rewarding the regime.

The Bolsonaro regime will not end the landless MST camps
interview with Kelli Mafort by Pedro Biondi

translated from/en castellano AQUI ..  ………   In the Temer government there was a very large freeze, and now the Bolsonaro government, in addition to the continuity in the cutting of public policies, tries to confront the popular movements creating a climate of terror in the camps and settlements (of the landless MST people), and promoting privatization of the settlements of the agrarian reform. The scenario is quite unfavorable and poses new challenges for the struggle of popular movements.

Kelli Mafort,  MST leader and doctor in agrarian subjects

The Landless Movement of Brazil faces new attacks by the fascist regime, which is heading a crusade to privatize the territories.

“Agroecology depends on a territorial base. You cannot do agroecology in a glass in an apartment. So, to think about agroecology and to think about environmental conservation is to think about the agrarian question, about how people manage to do a massive land distribution process in our country. Because we’re not thinking about feeding the middle class, which can buy organic food. The Brazilian people as a whole have the right to eat healthy food”.

Under these principles, Kelli Mafort, from the national coordination of the Landless Movement (MST), explains how agroecological and agroforestry production went via experience to the center of MST policy. She links that flag to the urgency of environmental sustainability, decent work, health and equality, in opposition to the escalation of deforestation, agro-toxins, ultra-processed food and violence against women.

MST land occupation

Bringing that economic and social option to a new level would require an agrarian policy and massive promotion, but under new parameters. “An agrarian reform that confronts the issue of latifundia (huge private underused estates), the distribution of land, production of healthy food and preservation of the environment”, defines the leader, who also integrates the Training and Gender sectors of the MST.

Brazil police repress protests against Bolsonaro’s policies

Mafort places the proposed amendment to the Constitution (PEC 80), promoted by Senator Flávio Bolsonaro (PSL-RJ), as an aggravating factor in the context of social inequalities promoted by the President Jair Bolsonaro’s government and the increasing commercialization of land, which has in Law 13.465 another recent framework. The PEC seeks to change the constitutional definition and the application of the social function of property.

With governments increasingly opposed to the Landless, and giving incentives to the armed response of the ‘ruralistas’, life in the camps is harder, recognizes the militant, who also studied the productive restructuring in the countryside and the impacts on the relations of work in her doctorate in the State University Paulista (Unesp).

However, she notes that the crisis pushes more families into fighting for land and housing, and concludes that the Bolsonaro government will not succeed in ending this form of demand. “Long life to the popular movements, to the camps and settlements,” she says.

– How was the PEC 80 , proposed by the eldest son of the President of the Republic, received?

– That proposed constitutional amendment is within a set of measures with the fundamental characteristics of the Bolsonaro government, which are essentially an extension of social inequality. The defense of private property as a “sacred good” is a huge setback, even in the recent history of the country.

The 1988 Constitution, despite the contradictory result in the treatment of land in Brazil, values ​​the question of the social function of the land. This does not mean that the PEC law is necessarily going to happen – it depends on the correlation of forces in the National Congress – but the most serious thing is that it is another non-conjunctural mid-term measure.

Landless children at MST youth rally

insert:  The 1st National Meeting of the Sem Terrinha movement  (Landless Children), took place in Brasilia with 1,200 children from MST camps and settlements throughout the country  with the participation of children from the 23 states and the Federal District, where the MST is organized. Sem Terrinha (kids without land) is the youth section of the landless movement, organised around the closing down of thousands of rural schools, 37,000 in the last 12 years …..

– The Law 13,465 … is an extremely regressive proposal for Brazil, abolishing the division between urban and rural,..- we are talking about practically half of Brazil – properties of up to two thousand hectares.

The public lands of the union that should be passed for agrarian reform, as the constitutional text says, would be given to large groups of entrepreneurs …up to 90 percent. The stimulus to direct payment in the expropriations and privatisations, instead of titles of the agrarian reform, places the INCRA (National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform) in the role of operator of the land market, of a business dealer.


…We have a lot of research which shows that 90% of the existing settlements in Brazil are originally the result of land occupations. That is to say, we would have nothing of agrarian reform if it were not for the workers’ struggle. This aspect tends to make this tool Law 13,465 unfeasible, giving an appearance that it would be possible for people to settle without resistance.

– The researchers point to a “race for titling” in the IBCRA during the Temer government, with the encouragement for rural workers to see themselves as small landowners, which would eventually push these lands to the market. Is it an additional challenge?

Related image

– Today, an agrarian reform settlement, one that is legalised, is entitled to a concession contract for use. Which is provisional, has three to five years of existence, to create conditions for a definitive degree. This definitive title, historically, can be a title of ownership, which means the owner can even negotiate and even sell the land – or it can be a ‘CDRU’, which is a definitive title, but in which the union continues to have the responsibility in that settlement.

We defend the definitive title. Established families have the right to be titled. But we defend that this title is a CDRU, because the union must have responsibility for the settlement and because that land can never become a commodity, it must never be sold.

The Bolsonaro government wants, with the support of Law 13,465, to privatize the settlements. We are against the sale of land and we are fighting against that.

…- Today we can affirm that the question of agroecology -not only agroecology and agroforestry, which combines food production with the production of forests and coexistence with forests-, is at the center of the agenda not only of the Landless or the settled workers, but also the mass of urban workers.

There are many sensitive issues, such as the increase in the use of pesticides, poisoning, the explosion of cancer cases, deaths due to agrochemicals. It is an issue that is in the centrality of those needs when one thinks today of health, work, land and food.

Agroecology depends on a territorial base. You can not do agroecology in a glass in an apartment. So, to think about agroecology and to think about environmental conservation is to think about the agrarian question, about how people manage to do a massive land distribution process in our country. Because we’re not thinking about feeding the middle class, which can buy organic food. Who has the right to healthy food is the Brazilian people as a whole. Diverse food, not that ultra-processed food, that intoxicating food we have today.

So, since there is that great challenge of feeding the Brazilian people, people need a lot of land. It is still necessary to think about an agrarian reform, but on completely different bases than it was in the 1980s. An agrarian reform that can not be only distributive. That faces up to the question of latifundio, of the distribution of lands, but in order to produce healthy food and preserve the environment……..

– The Landless Movement defends, in its political line, that agroecology is not a matter of focal experience, in certain settlements. It must be a human need so that people can have a lasting relationship with natural assets.

insert: Two more local leaders of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) died after being shot in the Dom José Maria Pires camp, where they lived Image result for Rodrigo Celestino e José Bernardo da Silva mortoswith 450 families in the state of Paraíba (northeast Brazil), the collective said Sunday. and the Office of the Prosecutor

“The victims are Rodrigo Celestino and José Bernardo da Silva (known as Orlando), both coordinators of the camp, which shows the character of a crime to intimidate the struggle for land,” the MST said in a statement.

They are finite resources, right? The soil, the water, how people interfere in the climate, the forests … Agroecology advanced, in the understanding of the MST, from an experience, from something focal, to its political line.

Dad and daughter at MST youth rally

And people are thinking of large scale production. People take the example of agro-ecological rice from the south of the country, from Rio Grande do Sul. We are the largest agroecological rice producer in Latin America. There it is mechanized work which has the same value as a vegetable garden in a productive quintal in Ceará, a breeding of small animals. This is a possible coexistance, it is possible to think of a production that serves not only the workers of the field, the settlers, but also the city.

– In that context, how is life in the camps?

– We still have about 100 thousand families camped in Brazil, which is a very strong social issue. The crisis is tightening a lot, then people are being looked after by those families.

In the case of women, we do not have access to housing, we have a very high unemployment rate, a very large rate of discouraged people .. people began to feel that in the government of Dilma. The government of Temer was a disaster, zero settlement, and now we live with a criminal as president of INCRA, General Jesus Corrêa, and the total suspension of the Agrarian Reform.

Policía de Brasil invade campamento del MST para desalojar ...

For the camping family all this is very hard and generates a lack of perspective of conquest. Despite that, people remain in the camp. Why? Because the camp is a dwelling place, it is a place of guarantee of food and, often, it is a place of some sowing, because in some places it is possible to develop a production.

And it is a place where people can have a minimum of community living, which is quite important in such hard times. Therefore, the government of Bolsonaro is not going to end the camps and will not get all the settled families to be titled and sell their lands. It is an illusion. There is a long life ahead for the MST and popular movements, fortunately, because that is part of the democracy of our country, and there will also be a long life for the camps and settlements.

– In the Temer government there was a kind of brake on the policy of purchases of rural products, especially in the Food Acquisition Program (PAA). What was the impact for families in the field?

– When you drastically cut social policies, it obviously impacts the direct income of families. In the field, we practically had a total cut in the PAA. … The political climate in the country, the cuts in public policies, make municipal managers not comply with the law of food allocated to municipalities.

In addition, technical assistance has suffered a very large cut. Today people do not have a policy of technical assistance, and the right to certain credits by settled families … Credits that are linked to the INCRA institution itself, such as the Fomento Mujer.

Violence against women is exploding in a very tragic way in the country and part of the confrontation is against the economic empowerment of women. So, cutting this off is also opening the way to a situation of subordination and violence against women.

And the entire policy of the Pronaf (National Program for the Strengthening of Family Farming) has been dismantled.  ..  This a tragedy.

In the Temer government there was a very large freeze, and now the Bolsonaro government, in addition to the continuity in the cutting of public policies, has confronted the popular movements (abolishing Agrarian Reform and charging agrarian reform activists) creating a climate of terror in the camps and settlements, as well as that possibility of privatization of the settlements of the agrarian reform. The scenario is extremely unfavorable and poses new challenges for the struggle of popular movements.

from  el Fato , Brasil

Full text in castellano at:

Members of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST)

El régimen de Bolsonaro no va a acabar con los campamentos del MST

El Movimiento Sin Tierra de Brasil enfrenta nuevos ataques por parte del régimen fascista, que encabeza una cruzada para privatizar los territorios

“La agroecología depende de una base territorial. No se puede hacer agroecología en un vaso en un apartamento. Entonces, pensar en agroecología y pensar en la conservación ambiental es pensar en la cuestión agraria, en cómo la gente logra hacer un proceso de distribución de tierra masiva en nuestro país. Porque no estamos pensando en alimentar a la clase media, que puede comprar alimentos orgánicos. Quien tiene derecho a la alimentación sana es el pueblo brasileño como un todo”.

sigue leyendo el en castellano AQUI ..

Agencia Prensa Rural @PrensaRural    

Seguidores de Bolsonaro prendieron fuego en campamento del MST en Mato Grosso do Sul …

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