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(en) MST landworker killed in Brazil - call for support

From "el desaparecido" <desaparecido@gmx.de>
Date Sat, 5 Feb 2000 06:20:15 -0500

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

> Richard Plevin <rich@globalexchange.org>


February 2, 2000

A landless worker was brutally shot down by gunmen hired by landowner
Pedro Duarte, known as "Pedro do Charque (Beef Jerky Pedro)" at around
11 am today, February 2, 2000, at the Sao Pedro farm in the town of
Atalaia.  Ailton, 21 years old, was an activist in the MST.  Two other
workers were seriously wounded.

Sao Pedro farm was first occupied on January 4, 1999 by 200 families,
and during the year was reoccupied 5 more times. INCRA (National
Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform) visited this area
twice during this period and declared it to be productive land. This
provoked the indignation of the workers, who are aware that the land
is idle, and so they decided to reoccupy the farm yesterday (February
1, 2000).  It should be noted that INCRA, the government agency that
should be working for the growth of agrarian reform, is in collusion
with the land owners, allowing them to "apply make up" to the area
during inspections.

Governor Ronaldo Lessa was advised numerous times of the presence of
gunmen at the farm, but no precautions were taken.  In fact, one
worker had already been tortured by the gunmen, in May 1999, being
tied up in barbed wire and brutally beaten, and was not murdered only
because the rest of the camp came to his aid.  On top of this, on this
same day, armed gunmen in the presence of the Alagoas State Police
were filmed by a television crew as they bullied and harassed workers
at the camp.

We are asking for the support of all groups and supporters to send
faxes to the Governor of Alagoas, Ronaldo Lessa (PSB) (fax: (82)
326-5724); to the President of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso (fax:
(61) 226-7566); to the Superintendent of INCRA/Alagoas, Ricardo
Vitorio (fax: (82) 326-5288); to the Minister of Agrarian Reform, Raul
Jullgman (fax: (61) 226-8727); to the Ministry of Justice (fax: (62)
224-0954); and to the Secretary of Public Security of the State of
Alagoas, Edmilson Miranda (fax: (82) 336-9001), asking them to take
steps as soon as possible, because the situation at the camp is tense,
and a new gun fight could occur, since the families are resisting.
Also, it should be requested that not only the gunmen, but also the
landowners who ordered the crime, should be arrested,

Our only alternative against the barbarity of this capitalist society
is the fight for land, which we will continue until the end, no matter
what happens.


State Directors of MST/AL
Friends of the MST                       http://www.mstbrazil.org

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