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(en) brasil - more violence against the MST in Brasil - ACTION ALERT

From "el desaparecido" <desaparecido@gmx.de>
Date Sun, 5 Mar 2000 16:38:38 -0500

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

> From: "Maisa Mendoca" <maisa@globalexchange.org> To: fmst@globalexchange.org


On Friday morning, February 25, 2000, military police in Paraná state raided
three squatter settlements in the northeastern part of the state, forcibly
evicting 250 families.  The most violent of the three evictions occurred at
the Figueira fazenda, or ranch, in Guairaça, near Querência do Norte, the
site of numerous violent evictions last year.  There, approximately 1,000
military police officers evicted 140 families, including 228 children.  Two
activists from the Global Justice Center accompanied the eviction at the
Figueira fazenda along with the attorney of record for the landless in the
land dispute pending in state court.  Police prohibited all three, as well
as a priest from the community and others sympathetic to the struggle of the
squatters present, from entering a road five miles from the site of the
conflict.  The group, along with reporters, however, managed to follow
police vehicles carrying numerous squatters to the police district in
Paranavaí, a nearby town roughly fifty miles away.  There, Global Justice
was able to document the abuses committed by the police during the

The police took thirty-one landless men into custody, charged them with
criminal offenses and held them for twelve hours.  More than half of these
men arrived at the station bloodied and bruised.  Many of them had been shot
with rubber bullets by police.  Nonetheless, during the entire time that we
accompanied their arrest and processing‹more than twelve hours‹the men
received no medical treatment.  Among those injured who received no medical
treatment was seventy-eight year-old Paulo Triches.  In all, the police
injured twenty-six men, two women and seven children.  The injuries to the
children included intoxication from the tear gas bombs launched by police
and bullet wounds.   Police shot four year old A.C.  in the right arm; Five
year old M.I.G. was shot in the arm.  Conveniently, prior to allowing
reporters access to the children, authorities wash blood from their wounds
and applied gauze dressing to minimize the negative impact from their
grossly abusive conduct.

The eviction operation is one of dozens that the police in Paraná have
carried out in the past few years.  Rather than negotiate land disputes with
rural squatters, the Paraná state government has intensified its use of
violent evictions.  These evictions are often based on dubious land title as
well as judicial orders obtained from corrupt judges.  The eviction policy
in Paraná contrasts with that in many other states in which authorities at
least attempt to resolve land conflicts through dialogue.  In 1999, police
in Paraná state undertook thirty-five such eviction actions, arresting 173
rural laborers and provoking injury to more than fifty.  Twenty rural
laborers received death threats; two were killed by thugs hired by large
landowners; two other murder attempts failed.  In the majority of the
eviction actions in 1999, police arrived in the middle of the night‹despite
clear provisions of Brazilian law requiring that all land eviction actions
be effectuated during daylight.  In one case, police tortured six laborers,
forcing them, among other humiliations, to ingest animal manure.  In the
first two months of this year, the government has already arrested 102
laborers in twelve eviction actions, forcing 820 squatter families from
their homes and injuring forty-six.

Global Justice seeks your support to help stop the violent eviction of poor,
landless squatter families in rural Paraná.  We are concerned that future
evictions will continue to result in injuries and even death; international
pressure can help focus attention on these abuses and force authorities to
negotiate with squatters.

Please write requesting an end to violent evictions to:

-- Governor Jaime Lerner: scgg@pr.gov.pr
 fax: 001-55-41-2530826

-- Minister of Justice, Mr. Jose Carlos Dias: acs@mj.gov.br
 fax: 011-55-61-3211565

-- President Fernando Henrique Cardoso: pr@planalto.gov.br
 fax: 011-55-61-3222314

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