By Iris Pacheco
In an interview with the MST web site, Alexandre Conceição, from the MST national coordination, says that the role of social activism in this election was instrumental in the re-election of President Dilma Rousseff (PT), and states that "social movements have the big challenge of continuing to struggle for structural reforms in Brazil. "
By Iris Pacheco
By Igor Carvalho and Glauco Faria
With a presence in 23 states and the Federal District and with more than 900 settlements with 150 thousand families, the MST celebrates its 30th anniversary this week.
The year 2013 won’t be missed by the Landless throughout the country. Regarding the struggle for land, the balance is positive, due to the demonstrations, marches and occupations of land and public buildings that occurred almost throughout the year.
But when referring to Agrarian Reform policy, almost nothing has been done, and in many cases the government walked backwards. This is the assessment of João Paulo Rodrigues Chaves, from the national coordination of the MST, on the agrarian policy stimulated by the federal government during all of this year.
As Rodrigues stated, something that has always been bad in this government became even worse. “So far, only 159 families were settled around the country. It's a shame. There were 10 properties expropriated by the Dilma government. Worse than the last military government of General Figueiredo, when 152 properties were expropriated," he says.
Check out the interview:
In an historic trial, a jury sentenced ruralista Mark Prochet to 15 years and nine months in prison for second degree murder, resorting to the defense that the victim was indefensible and had concealed other crimes. The trial ended around 10:00 pm and was attended by over 200 people in the 2nd Circuit Court in Curitiba, Paraná.
by Joao Pedro Stedile, National Coordination of the MST
It is usual to take advantage of the year-end period, forever doing the critical balance of losses, achievements and progress in the various sectors of activities of our society.
Unfortunately for workers who live in the countryside the balance of 2013 is anything but optimistic. Briefly we could track several defeats that the movement of capital in imposed.
The process of concentration of land ownership and agricultural production continues to accelerate and our natural resources are increasingly concentrated in the hands of fewer capitalists. There was an avalanche of foreign financial capital to control more land, more water, more plants, more agro-industries and virtually all foreign trade of agricultural commodities. And some of them are already buying up the oxygen of our forests, the famous way of carbon credit, then resold in European exchanges to permit Europe to maintain its pollution!
By Iris Pacheco of the MST's website
The Dilma government is responsible for the worst figures of land expropriation of the last 20 years. In 2012, only 28 rural estates met the decreed target. No real estate has been expropriated thus far in 2013. During the first term of this year, social movements in the countryside undertook several days of action with combined and specific agendas, bringing the urgent necessity of Agrarian Reform to the attention of the Brazilian government.
On Thursday, July 11, 2013, Brazil erupted in mobilizations, strikes, work stoppages, occupations and road blockades in a National Day of Struggle. Called for by CUT (Central Workers Union), an assortment of labor unions and a vast array of social movements, including the MST, the National Day of Struggle put forth specific demands for the working class and social movements, including a call for agrarian reform. The MST participated and helped lead this mobilization through the country.
The Friends of the MST has translated summaries of the July 11 mobilizations from various sources and presents information on this important struggle. Very few U.S. newspaper carried stories on this phase of the struggle in Brazil.
We have not had such vigorous street mobilizations since the campaign for “Rights Now” in the '80s. The protests which exploded with the youth indignation were just the tip of the iceberg of the profound social and economic problems that persist in our society. On one hand, the big cities have become a living hell, where workers pay high costs for low quality public transport. Besides that, they spend two or three hours a day traveling, a pure waste of time.
Those who managed to buy an automobile, financed by international finance capital, are realizing that they paid dearly for the ability not to be able to move. The auto assembly companies and the associated banks have never before sent so much money abroad.
On Friday July 5, rural organizations and social movements met with President Dilma Rousseff in the Planalto Palace in Brasilia. They demanded more flexibility and less bureaucracy in carrying out policies in the countryside. “It is necessary and urgent for the government to get rid of bureaucracy.
The MST expresses solidarity with the indigenous fighting in Mato Grosso do Sul in defending their territories and against the appropriation of land by agribusiness.
The Brazilian state, with the decision to expel the indigenous from the Buriti Fazenda and Federal Police action to repossess the occupied land in the municipality of Sidrolândia, acts to defend the right of agribusiness and large farmers, instead of fulfilling what is required by the Constitution.