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A leader of the Rural Landless Workers Movement of Brazil (MST) was murdered this week in the northern state of Pará. Meanwhile, in Bahía state, the police occupied a settlement and destroyed property used for production activities. An increasing state of impunity is denounced in the country.
The Landless Movement in Pará State issued on Monday 20 a letter in solidarity with the family of activist Waldomiro Costa Pereira, who was murdered at the General Hospital of Parauapebas by two hooded hitmen.
Waldomiro, who had not been part recently of the top roles of the Movement, was also a member of the Workers´ Party and had an advisory position in the city prefecture.
The MST demands investigations to clear up the case and adds that the "recurrent impunity" atmosphere, with the murder of workers in Pará, strengthens this kind of violence. In addition, the Landless Movement recognized the work carried out by Waldomiro in the 17 de Abril settlement, where the activist focused on farming.
The morning following Waldomiro´s murder, on Tuesday 21, the Military and Federal Police of Bahía State invaded the Irani de Souza settlement, located to the North of the State, and destroyed part of the irrigation system used by the over 500 families that are part of the settlement.
The area belongs to Compañía de Desarrollo del Valle de San Francisco (Codevasf), which without a warrant took bulldozers to the land and destroyed the infrastructure built by the landless workers, considered essential for the production processes of different food.
In resistance to said aggression, the families placed tree branches to prevent the passage of machinery, thus containing the total destruction of the irrigation system.
Denunciation and solidarity with the MST of Brazil
In Uruguay, REDES-Friends of the Earth denounced the situation of defenselessness of the Landless Rural Workers Movement of Brazil, as well as other popular social organizations, in the framework of an institutional breakdown in the country.
"The struggle against agribusiness, privatizing territories, cutting off rights and moving away from environmental justice as an integral part of social justice, has led the MST and its members in the past months to be the focus of different types of aggression, attacks and threats, with the general complicity of the dominant impunity regime", stated the Uruguayan environmental organization.
As denounced last year during the Continental Day in Defense of Democracy and against Neoliberalism "where there have been anti-democratic setbacks, we´ve seen how civil and cultural social rights of the wide majority are under attack. Conservative forces seek to impose setbacks in the rights achieved by women. Where women are or have been leaders of political processes -Argentina, Chile and Brazil- a large part of the political and media campaign of conservative forces has been developed with misogynistic, patriarchal and macho violence".
La oposición a la minería debe entenderse como la lucha por los derechos que esa actividad no respeta, pues “cada derecho que se le otorga a una empresa, es un derecho que se le resta a una comunidad”, asegura el coordinador del Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de América Latina (OCMAL), César Padilla.
Luchas para alcanzar un tratado legal sobre transnacionales y sus violaciones a los derechos humanos, para asegurar que esos derechos no valgan menos que los intereses de las grandes corporaciones. Al final de todo, la dolorosa pregunta que sigue sin respuesta: ¿Dónde está Santiago Maldonado?
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