History

Lula and the Meaning of Agrarian Reform

by Cliff Welchnacla cover

[Ed. Note:  This article is from NACLA Report on the Americas, March/April 2011 and is part of a special issue on Lula’s legacy.]

Until Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s victorious 2002 campaign for president, Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT) had consistently supported a radical definition of agrarian reform. Seen as a crucial tool for building socialism, agrarian reform would weaken the ruling class fragment that secured its power by controlling large swaths of Brazilian territory and help pave the way for the victory of a PT-controlled government. In the years before he was elected president, Lula went out of his way to participate in land occupations, marches, and forums organized by the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) and other peasant groups. He visited jailed leaders like José Rainha

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