Official note from MST on the tragedy at the Terra e Liberdade encampment in Pará

Monday, December 11, 2023
Info Source: 
From the MST Page | Translation by Gunther Schwarzbold | Original URL:

Encampment Sem Terra in Parauapebas last Saturday (12/09) accounted for the death of nine people, due to a fire that started during internet installation

The Movement of Landless Rural Workers in Pará (MST) states that the Terra e Liberdade encampment, in Parauapebas, southeast of the state, underwent a tragedy on last Saturday evening (12/09) caused at the time of internet installation, by the company G5 Internet.

The families organized in the Terra e Liberdade encampment even warned the company’s employees about the conditions under which they were carrying out the work and the late time to carry out the procedure, but the operators continued with the installation. At around 8 pm they mishandled the operation and an antenna touched the high voltage wires, causing the sudden death of workers and electricity going through the internet network, which caused the fire that hit some shacks in the encampment.

Nine (09) deaths have been confirmed. Six of them were camped people and the other three were the internet company workers, and also residents of the 17 de Abril settlement, in Eldorado do Carajás. The fire left several injured and caused much destruction at the site. Up to last Monday (12/11), eight (08) of the victims had been identified, one is still waiting for a specialized team from Belém to carry out recognition using DNA.

The MST is grieving and fighting

At this moment of consternation, we sympathize with the families of this tragedy, the Terra e Liberdade encampment and the 17 de Abril settlement for their losses.

On last Sunday the families received support and held an event in memory to the victims. Solidarity manifestations continue throughout the week this Monday (12/11).

The Mayor of Parauapebas, Darci Lemer, the Minister of Agrarian Development and Family Agriculture (MDA), Paulo Texeira, as well as the representative of the MDA Office in Pará, Edson Matos dos Santos Junior, the National President of the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA), Cesar Aldrighi, the Director of Development and Consolidation of INCRA Settlement Projects, Rose Rodrigues, the Secretary of State for Family Agriculture, Cássio Alves Pereira, the National Secretariat for Dialogues with Society and political articulations, Kelly Mafort, the State Deputy of Ceará, Missias Bezerra, in addition to MST national coordinators, Alexandre da Conceição, João Paulo Rodrigues and Divina Lopes traveled to the Palmares settlement to attend a meeting with MST leaders in the state and show solidarity to the families of the Terra e Liberdade encampment.

At the last Monday meeting (12/11), the federal government, through MDA and INCRA, committed to speeding up the inspection process in Brasília in relation to the areas of the Santa Maria, Pé do Morro, Santa Tereza, Boa Viagem and Maribondo farms. Next week, the registration process for families camped in the region is scheduled to become beneficiaries of the agrarian reform and have access to the settlement policy.

A partnership was also signed between the state and municipal governments to speed up the settlement process and, by Christmas, move the camp to a temporary area, where families can have security to live and hope in the fight to acquire land.

For the Landless Movement in Pará, the manifestation, marked by a lot of emotion, was important because, in addition to the message of solidarity taken to the families, it highlighted the need for ways out of the risk situation that the campers live in, in addition to putting back on the agenda the urgency of resumption of Agrarian Reform policies in Brazil, so that tragedies like this do not happen again.

All support to the families who continue to fight for land and for decent living conditions in the countryside.

Struggle, Build People’s Agrarian Reform!

Landless Rural Workers Movement – Pará