[06/19/06] URGENT APPEAL: Prevent the eviction of 400 MST families! **DRAFT LETTER INCLUDED**

On July the 31st of 2004, over 400 MST families occupied the Santa Filomena Estate in Brazil’s southern state of Paraná. During the occupation, MST activist Elias de Meura, 20 years of age, was shot and killed by gunmen hired to keep the landless from occupying the estate.

The families have continued to refuse to leave the estate, citing its inproductivity as was declared by Brazil’s National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) in 1997.

This Thursday, June 22nd of 2006, judges will hear an appeal regarding the estate. If the appeal is approved, the 400 MST families, or roughly 1,200 people, may be forcibly removed from the land! Letters of support for the families must be received by June 21st.

Thank you for your ongoing support and solidarity,
Friends of the MST

Please format the following letters correctly, one letter per judge, and fax them to Brazil by Wednesday, June 21st:
1) Federal Judge Amaury Chaves de Ataíde
Fax Number = 0 11 55 51 3211 5112

2) Federal Judge Valdemar Capeletti
Fax Number = 0 11 55 51 3213 3101

Your Excellence
Federal Judge [NAME OF JUDGE HERE]


I/We, [YOUR NAME OR NAME OF ORGANIZATION YOU REPRESENT], respectfully address Your Excellency to express my/our opinion regarding the upcoming hearing of Appeal No. 2001.70.11.000098-0/PR, related to the Santa Filomena Estate.

The Santa Filomena farm is a large, unproductive rural estate, as was declared officially by the tecnicians from the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) in 1997. The judgement of inproductivity was prepared by the appropriate legal body, and was supported by the 1st Superior Court responsible for conflicts in the region.

Along with failing to meet productivity guidelines, this rural estate has been the scene of inumerable Human Rights Violations, including the assasination of the young landless rural worker - Elias de Meura, only 20 years of age at the time of death – murdered by hired gunmen who had been contracted by the owner of the Santa Filomena Estate.

Since the 31st of July of 2004, this property has been occupied by close to 400 families of landless rural workers, with the Reintegration of Possesion Act suspended by judicial decree:

“It is declared, given the recent events cited in the Certificate of Contention No. 362-363, with special consideration given to the supremacy of social interests, REVOCATION OF THE PREVIOUS DECISION conceded. Refering to article 265, IV, “a