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10 days before the 20th anniversary of El Dorado dos Carajas massacre in Brazil, where 19 landless peasants of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) were murdered, this movement has to mourn again the death of two of its members, who were shot by the Military Police and private security guards of a timber company. On Thursday, April 7, two peasants of Dom Tomas Balduino settlement, in Quedas de Iguacu city, Parana State, were suddenly attacked with firearms, and four other people were injured.
Vilmar Bordim and Leonir Orback were shot in the back. They were unarmed, just as the other peasants attacked, which cancels out the argument by the Military Police that there was a confrontation after an ambush carried out by the peasants.
In Dom Tomas Balduino settlement there are over 1500 families who have been living there for two years. The lands were ill-gotten by forestry company Araupel and recognized as public lands by the Federal Brazilian Legal System.
In an interview with Real World Radio, Wellington Leno, member of the MST of Parana gave a few examples of the context of the murders: “Valdir Rossoni took office recently as Chief of the State government and came to meet with political leaders of the region and Tarso Giacomet, the owner of Araupel: they came to negotiate political agreements because Araupel contributed with funds in Rossoni´s electoral campaign”.
Leno said that this was not the first time peasants in conflict with the company were murdered: “In 1997, two peasants were also murdered by security guards of Araupel: Vanderlei das Neves and Jose Alves dos Santos”. According to Leno, the investigation around that case took years and the defendants were eventually acquitted, so the case was left unpunished.
“We will respond to this; our goal is that the families stay in those lands”, said the MST leader. Therefore, on Saturday 8th they held a National Meeting Against Violence, in solidarity with the families and for Agrarian Reform, where MST leaders from several States, members of other social movements, MPs and ministerial representatives participated.
The MST demands an investigation over the case, a trial and sentences for those responsible, in addition to the protection of the families settled in the lands, and that the lands ill-gotten by Araupel are used in the Agrarian Reform process.
Imagen: Danielson Postinguer/MST
Este jueves se cumple un año del asesinato de la dirigente lenca Berta Cáceres en Honduras, y los grupos de Amigos de la Tierra Internacional (ATI) se movilizarán en decenas de países a partir de hoy, en el marco de una Semana de Acción que tendrá como cierre el 8 de marzo, Día Internacional de la Mujer.
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