MST Campaign of Struggle in Defense of Agrarian Reform launches the slogan: “Occupy to feed Brazil!”

Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Info Source: 
From the MST website | Translated by Natalie Illanes Nogueira | Proofread by Leonardo Vilchis | Original URL:

A national mobilization is underway to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the Eldorado do Carajás martyrs' deaths and to celebrate 40 years of the MST's struggles

April is the month of the National Campaign of Struggle in Defense of Agrarian Reform, organized by the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST), with mass mobilizations, such as marches, actions, demonstrations, activities for education, solidarity and confronting land accumulation in Brazil, chanting the slogan: “Occupy to feed Brazil!”, celebrating the 40 years of the Movement’s trajectory.

Throughout the month, activities are scheduled across all major regions of the country, in areas where the MST is active, with key days of action set between April 15 and 19.

The campaign also marks April 17 as the day of remembrance for those who lost their lives 28 years ago in the struggle for land during the Eldorado do Carajás massacre in Pará, where 21 rural workers, protesting for Agrarian Reform, were killed by military police, incited by landowners.

The actions, above all, emphasize the importance of Agrarian Reform as an urgent and necessary alternative for the production of healthy food for both rural and urban population, to combat hunger, and to advance the country’s development, in the agrarian, social, economic and political contexts, in a conjuncture where the budget for this public policy portfolio has reached its lowest point in 20 years for the second year in a row.

Read the Landless Movement’s letter to the Brazilian people on the milestone of April 17, 2024:


The flags are up.  And the flowers of April are pregnant with collective rebellion.  It’s been almost three decades without allowing anyone to forget the murder of 21 MST workers by military police and gunmen from companies and large landowners in “Curva do S”, in the city that will forever be a synonym of massacre and impunity. Curva is where our poetry of struggle grows, year after year – clamoring for justice and reclaiming the memory of the martyrs of the land struggle in Brazil.  Once again, we stand up in all the states where the MST is organized to make it known and not forgotten: April 17 is the International Day of Struggle for Land, which is guaranteed by Brazilian law. There is no better tribute to the memory of our martyrs than to do it in movement, with dignity and in popular and organized struggle.

We are fighting because 105,000 families are encamped and we demand that the federal government comply with Article 184 of the Federal Constitution, expropriate unproductive large land estates, and democratize access to land, by confirming the settlement of all those who want to work and produce food for the people. A settlement is more than the distribution or regularization of land, it guarantees the right of access to land and to all the public policies that allow people and rural communities to develop fully.  Hundreds of communities have been waiting for this right for decades, and patience is the enemy of the hunger and abandonment of those under a black tarp shack.

We are fighting for Agrarian Reform so that the land fulfills its social function: to produce healthy food for the Brazilian people and to take care of nature. For this to happen, it is essential that the supressed demand for infrastructure in the settlements is resolved. Water, electricity, roads, schools, health centers and technical assistance are basic rights that are the responsibility of the state. It is crucial for the Food Acquisition Program (PAA) and other related supply, stockpiling, and price regulation policies to have their budgets reinstated so all Brazilians can access food that is of good quality, and with a fair price.

We are also fighting to have suficient resources to make the 42 courses already approved in the National Education Program for Agrarian Reform (PRONERA) viable, because they benefit directly thousands of young peasants, who have historically been excluded from the right to study and access quality courses tailored to the reality and needs of the countryside. 

Agribusiness cannot, will not, and does not want to produce healthy food, because truly feeding the people does not fit in its project. It receives huge subsidies from the Brazilian state and international capital, concentrates wealth and continues to destroy and deforest biomes, such as the Pampa, the Amazon and the Cerrado, violently advancing on waters and strategic territories to despoil nature, to advance monoculture for export. Its trail is one of poison, pollution, desertification, indebtedness, destruction and death, because it is agribusiness that finances illegal miners, land grabbers and gunmen who threaten indigenous and quilombola lands and peoples, and settlements. As in Eldorado do Carajás, the force of state and paramilitary weapons, such as the “Zero Invasion” militia, are the response of the large land estates owners against the 1988 Federal Constitution and the right of peoples to organize to produce food and democratize the land. 

So, to the people of Brazil, we say: we fight, but we also sing to confront the horror of the massacres. The horror of hunger, expropriation and the state’s silence in the face of organized death against peoples in the struggle. We sing because we dream and we continue so that, as the poem says, the dawn will find us smiling, celebrating our freedom. Freedom that will only be possible when all the landless people fully achieve their goals of fighting for the land, achieving Popular Agrarian Reform and contributing to the construction of a just society To this end, we call on the Brazilian people to join in this construction, to take up in multitude the flowers, pregnant with rebellion, that will reinvent us and set us collectively in motion, in the countryside and in the city, for the right to live with dignity. In this April of Struggles, we announce that our 7th National Congress will be held in Brasilia in July, commemorating the milestone of our 40th anniversary.

Long live the MST!  Long live the Brazilian people!