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:
The 1st Continental Assembly of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) met between May 16-May 20. It brought together more than 200 delegates from 22 Latin American countries representing diverse social movements.
The MST will be included in the mobilization of trade unions, social movements and political organizations of the working class to take to the streets of the country, on Thursday (July 11), to defend a political platform, with the reduction of working hours, investment of 10% of GDP for health and education, free and quality public transport, the democratization of the media and the implementation of land reform.
by Eduardo Scolese, of Agência Folha
João Pedro Stedile, 59, economist and leader of the Landless Workers Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra, MST), says that it is necessary to take advantage of the protests to create new mechanisms for popular participation in the destiny of the country.
If this doesn’t happen, he says, “the mobilizations will return stronger and more radical”.
The People of Latin America Lost a Leader and a Builder of Ideas!
The death of Hugo Chávez represents an irreparable loss to all the peoples of Latin America.
His humble origins, his path as a military nationalist and his unwavering commitment to the project of the freedom of the Venezuelan people, turned him into a popular leader of the whole continent.
Brazilian society faces, in the rural milieu, distinct problems needing different solutions. We have serious problems and emergencies that require urgent action. There are about 150,000 families of landless laborers living under black tarps, camping, fighting for the rights that are in the Constitution to have land to work. For this problem, the government needs to do a real joint effort among the various agencies and settle the families in lands that exist in abundance throughout the country. Remember that Brazil uses for agriculture only 10% of its total area.
A federal court in Brazil has ordered the immediate suspension of work on the huge Belo Monte hydro-electric dam in the Amazon.
The court says local indigenous people have not been properly consulted. Officials point out that the builders of the dam will be able to appeal against the decision. Once completed, the 11,000-megawatt dam, in Brazil's Para state, would be the third largest hydro-electric dam in the world. Belo Monte would only be smaller than the Three Gorges in China, and Itaipu which is jointly run by Brazil and Paraguay. The project, which has been heavily criticised by environmentalists, was approved by the Brazilian Congress in 2005. It is expected to flood a vast area of tropical forest.
By Jose Coutinho Junior
The Minister of Agrarian Development (MDA), Pepe Vargas, in an interview with Carta Maior declared the decrease in the coming years of the number of families settled pursuant to agrarian reform.
The minister also claims that the number of families living in the encampments has decreased. For Alexandre Conceição, from the National Coordination of the MST, the statements mask the reality of the Brazilian countryside.
Check out the interview with the Página do MST: