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Brazil where landlords hold complete monopoly but peasants resist tyranny

By Harsh Thakor 

Democrats and true progressives are rocked by the implementation of the “Marco Temporal” [Time frame, law which denies the claims of indigenous peoples on their ancestral lands] law at the Commission of the Agrarian Reform and Agriculture of the Chamber of Deputies It will place into oblivion 523 years of genocide and deny five centuries of theft of indigenous lands by the Portuguese invaders and the privileged Brazilian lords of lands and slaves, as well as their descendants and beneficiaries.
Those who have always ruled the country continue to hold a monopoly. The R$ 364 billions that they obtained from Luiz Inácio through the Safra Plan was far from enough. The big landlords also want to acquire the indigenous lands in addition to the public lands they already have. The current government camouflages reality by establishing the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples, leaded by an indigenous, but with no perquisite of delimitation and ratification of land.
The moral reality is that everything is unchanged, with only replacement of new characters which breeds the reaction momentarily and superficially. The owners of the power – the local ruling classes of big bourgeois and big landlords, subservient to imperialism, mainly to Yankee imperialism – are unperturbed by elections that only replace the old guard. Only the masses representing the struggle for their demands and oriented with the proletarian revolutionary vanguard in struggle for power, can overturn this merciless oppression and exploitation.

Attacks by Landlords on Peasants

Paramilitary groups of big landlords shamelessly attacked peasants struggling for the sacred right to land, in two more sinister events that took place in Humaitá and Cujubim, in the first half of August. The first of these took place in the Ipixuna community, in the rural area of Humaitá, in southern Amazonas: three gunmen invaded the home of a couple and executed them in cold blood, on the night of August 3rd.They were killed with more than 5 shots each, in the head and chest; witnesses heard several cries of help from the couple and sounds of beatings before the gunshots, indicating that they were tortured before being murdered.
The executed man was known as as Fumaça, he and his wife Cleide Silva moved from Rondônia to Amazonas and were backing a grabbing of a large estate, which is why they were killed. The big landlords in the region exchanged information on their social networks about the arrival in the Ipixuna region of “people from the LCP of Rondônia” to organize land seizures. Press reports quote “the couple was involved in a land dispute and had already been receiving death threats from people who claimed ownership of the land” .
The second attack by far-right big landlords took place on line B90, in Cujubim, on the border with Rio Crespo, on August 12. Approximately 60 big landlords and gunmen attacked the newly built camp with guns, arrested 7 peasants and burned their motorcycles. The big landlords arrogantly proclaimed “we finish of the landless”, “we arrested 7 vagabonds”, “they where shot” .

Despair of Peasants

The lands of the Farm Lagoa dos Portácios are abandoned lands that are unproductive.. The possession of the farm is combated among the peasants that rears “loose” animals and use firewood to cook, internal roads, water tanks that were destroyed in the dumping operation and for rearing of small animals. Farm manager Lineu Fernandes and the neighbouring big landlords, coal miners and lumberjacks extract illegal wood from the property in collaboration with the manager. Many peasants fall ill producing coal for these middlemen being prevented from planting with frequent work trials against the company.
The peasant families of Lagoa dos Portácios have for decades lived in despair without the land rights and any other right besides selling a day’s labour for R$ 70 to the big landlords and bosses of the city. The families are enslaved by the local big landlords since generations. The inhabitants and workers oft the communities “Cheira Cabelo”, “Cabacinhas”, “Caráibas” and near areas are the true owners of these lands.
The lands were promised by the Agrarian Reform in 2008/2009 by the superintendence of INCRA of Bom Jesus da Lapa in front of an audience at the city of Carinhanha, but they where never actually never given to the peasants.

Peasant Resistance

Despite the fact that the government did not hand over the lands, the peasant families have already seized possession of the territory. Continuously, the families are placed at the mercy of attacks by the big landlord, who uses a tentative of eviction or even cattle theft. The big landlords, together with the “manager” of the farm, unleashed their cattle to trample on the peasant’s lands, and after they retrieved it”, they stole the cattle of the small peasants and marked the animals with their iron bar.
This is the strategy of the big landlords, who act like an emperor in establishing a stranglehold over the city, institutions, police, city hall, radio and all around. They however are unable to curb the organized and just resistance of the peasants of the Bernadete Mãe Camp.
Deploying the most unethical or scandalous methods to try to intimidate the masses in struggle, they put in an unscrupulous lawyer to convey that the agrarian reform law paves way for the identification of all the peasants who invade lands and that these will have their social benefits cut, including Non-Hunting Period Insurance– Artisan Fisher
Inspite of the reactionaries banging every nail in the wall to crush the struggle for land, the peasants relentlessly have embarked on path of resistance to enable all the lands of the big landlords to be recaptured in the hands of the poor peasants, quilombolas and indigenous people.
The Mãe Bernadete camp was named in honour of the quilombola leader Mãe Bernadete Pacific, who was shot dead on August 17th by goons patronised by real estate speculators and big landlords, land grabbers, thieves of lands and wood. Mãe Bernadete was executed inside the association of the Quilombo Pitanga dos Palmares in Salvador.
During the dawn of 19th of August of 2023, more than 100 peasant families, led by Liga dos Camponeses Pobres [League of Poor Peasants – LCP] of North of Minas and South of Bahia recaptured the lands of the Farm Lagoa dos Portácios with 6.8 thousands of hectares of lands abandoned for over 20 years by the mining company Calsete, in the town of Carinhanha (BA). The families condemned several attempts of harassment by the big landlord, who admitted to collaborate with the Military Police [MP] to repress the struggling peasants.
Fluttering banners with the slogan Long live the Agrarian Revolution! and the symbol of LCP the peasant families continued to embark on the struggle that they started in January, when they occupied part of the large estate that cross the BR 030 highway. In March, the families were vacated by an action of the landlords to recapture the land with the use of police force and paramilitary group.
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Harsh Thakor is freelance journalist

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