(resend) PPI-002-ALERT>Brazil Massacre


Richard Moore

[resent due to accented characters destroying the post; I hope this solves
 the problem. -rkm]

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Since sending this posting, Cesar's email address has become unreachable.
We at CADRE are concerned that he may have been the vicitim of some kind
of pressure by Brazilian authorities.  Besides responding to the call
Cesar makes to write to the Brazilian government, we also request that
anyone who is in Rio make an  effort to contact Cesar and then to reassure
us that he is OK.


                     002-ALERT>Brazil Massacre

                  ** ALERT - ACTION REQUESTED **


                   Rio de Janeiro, 28 March 1998
              Cesar Roberto <•••@••.•••>

Dear friends:

The translation sent below was received from Marko Ajdaric, a journalist who
issues a daily newsletter focused on Brazilian popular movements called  "A
Luta Continua"  (the fight goes on):   <•••@••.•••>

I am sending the bad news of the murder of two peasant leaders in Northern
Brazil, Onalício Araujo Barros and Valentim Serra, by local landlords.  They
were members of MST (The Landless Movement).

MST is a nonpartisan league of peasants that has been very successful both
in pushing the agrarian reform onwards and in managing prosperous
cooperative farms with the help of technicians and teachers in former
derelict or nonproductive lands.  Some months ago Time magazine published a
very sympathetic report on MST, although it ironically said something about
a melt of Che Guevara with capitalistic management witty.  Well, Brazil is a
fierce capitalist country and the accelerated  mechanization of farm lands
is driven millions of peasants and little farmers out from work.

MST appeals for a wordwide protest addressed to the President of the
Federative Republic of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso (see below).   He
is a "soi disant" social-democrat who is strongly supported by the most
right-wing parties, including landlords.

The President will certainly answers on the ground of Federalist juridical
technicalities, because these crimes fall under the jurisdiction of State
police and courts.  It is a half-truth, since  there is a remarkable lack of
political will by the neoliberal government of Brazil in promoting the legal
amendments needed to make such crimes fall under Federal jurisdiction, that
has been much less subject to the influence of local politics.
Furthermore, the victims were survivors from the massacre of 16 peasants by
the State of Para's military police in 1996 in the same county of Eldorado
dos Carajas, a crime that is unpunished till today. By the way, massacres of
peasants and small farmers usually get no punishment at all.

in solidarity,

Cesar Roberto


1848 / 1998:   Proletarier aller Lander, vereinigt euch !

From: "Marko Ajdaric" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject:  Murder_of_Landless_Leaders_in_Brazil._URGENT_!
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 16:50:17

This is our translation from the official notice of the MST (Movimento dos
Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra). Please, do forward and/or come visit our
home page. We will be updating the news and issuing other resources as well
as newspaper issuings in French, Italian and others available.


The murder of Onalício Araujo Barros and Valentim Serra


    While Brazilian government delivered to the Pope John Paul II  its
justifications on the agrarian situation in Brazil, the MST leaders,
Onalicio Araujo Barros (also known as "Fusquinha") and Valentin Serra (
nicknamed "Doutor") were executed by farmers. The crime occurred on March
26th in the township called Parauapebas (Para', northern Brazil, in the
Amazon region). They were negotiating an area to settle the landless
families who  had to leave a farm they have been occupying.


    At the dawn of March 14th, about 550 families occupied the farm "Goias
II", 1,487 hectares wide. This area is unproductive and is maintained
forcefully by a farmer called Carlos Antonio da Costa.


    On March 18th, Carlos Antonio da Costa asked at the local tribunal to
maintain the ownership of the farm, thus having the right to expel the
landless workers. Still on March 18th, the local judge Maria Vitoria Torres
assigned him this right. From this day on, two agents of the local justice
visited the settling frequently, admonishing the landless workers.  On March
26th, in the afternoon, these agents entered the settlement, followed by ten
military policemen. The Para's Security State Secretary , Paulo S. Camara,
told the MST that the Military Policy would not be used against  the
workers. After a short negotiation, the landless workers decided to go away,
leaving the the farm Goias II.


    Close to 5:00 P.M., the workers began to leave the area. Soon there a
group of 30 gunmen arrived at the farm, commanded by well known farmers
(Donizete, Lazinho, Nozinho, Antonio Barcelos, Luciano Sartorio and Carlos
Antonio da Costa himself). They began to provoke the workers, who did not
react to the offenses.


    Close to 5:00 P.M., the workers were already some 3 miles away from the
farm, and arrived to the settlement called Carajas III  (Vila Cedere I).
Two MST leaders in Para, Onalicio Araujo Barros and Valentin Serra, decided
after consulting their fellows, to camp there. The gunmen, farmers and
policemen who were following the workers, reached them. Two farmers,
Donizete and Carlos Antonio da Costa, shot Valentin twice in the chest.
Onalicio ran, trying to reach the road. While he tried to escape, Donizete
shot him in the back. The group of gunmen put Valentin in a car and flew
away at high speed. Valentin was found dead, near to a river, some 2,5 miles
away, half-buried. He has been evidently spanked to death.

    [from now on, abridged]

    05. IMPUNITY

    The state of Para is marked by violence. The Military Police and the
farmers kill  because they know that the justice benefits only rich people.
In last 2 years, 30 agricultural workers in the region called Grande Carajas
have been assassinated.

    [Onset in our home page]


    We do affirm that President Fernando Henrique Cardoso has responsibility
in this issue , since he is supposed to be running an agrarian reform in
Brazil. However, he has only taken palliative actions, always trying to
benefit his allied state governors with  propaganda based on non
accomplished deeds.

    On March 18th, the Federal Government launched a few measures
stimulating the use of armed strength against the landless workers.


    These deaths only do confirm the innability of Brazilian Federal
Government to attain a solution for the agrarian problems.

    We demand:

    1) Immediate settling of all families that have already entered non
profitable farms;

    2) An effective agrarian reform;

    3) Punishment for the culprits of all deaths of agricultural workers
that fought for the agrarian reform.

    c.. We do invite all the persons and organizations to express their
opinion on this facts to the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil,
urging for an immediate agrarian reform  and punishment for those guilty of
landless workers deaths.
    e.. Please write to:
    g.. Presidente da Republica
    h.. Fernando Henrique Cardoso
    i.. Palacio do Planalto
    j.. 70150-900 - Brasília - DF - Brasil
    k.. Fax 55 61 226 7566


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