Police Raid MST Camp in MS Without Warrants [3-23-11]

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In the early hours of Wednesday, about 200 police officers took a violent action and raided the camp Antônio Irmão in Itaquiraí, Mato Grosso do Sul (MS).

The police had no warrant, but invaded the camp and entered the homes of the encampment, searched families and seized material for working in the fields.

The camp has 670 families, including 'brasiguaios' who were expelled from their lands by large landowners in Paraguay and Brazil and who live on the border of both countries.

Since last year, because of the presence of brasiguaios, there is an onslaught of federal police and Abin [Agência Brasileiro de Inteligência – Brazilian Intelligence agency] over the camp. The families were registered, and the leaders, given a record.

As the camp was on the edge of the highway, there was an injunction requested by DNIT [Departamento Nacional de Infraestrutura de Transportes – National Department of Infrastructure and Transportation].

After negotiations involving Abin, Incra [Instituto Nacional de Colonização e Reforma Agrária – National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform], the Agrarian Ombudsman, the families left the highway and went to another place in Itaquaraí.

It was agreed to send food baskets to families, which until now has not been delivered.

However, in January this year, a judge of the prosecutor’s office of Naviraí filed an injunction suspending both the process of land expropriation in the region and providing food baskets.

On February 10, there was a public hearing with the prosecutor, the MDS [Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social – Ministry of Social Development], the MDA [Ministério do Desenvolvimento Agrário – Ministry of Agrarian Development], the agrarian ombudsman, the Commission for Justice and Peace in the Countryside, the social movements and the MP.

From this hearing, Incra has pledged to expedite the registration of families and the distribution of food baskets. So far, nothing has been resolved.

The director of the MST of Mato Grosso do Sul is concerned with the opening of a case of persecution of landless families, since the Federal Police and Abin have the names of all campers.