We publish here an unofficial translation of an article from the newspaperof our comrades in Brazil, A Nova Democracia.

On October 10. two federal police agents were expelled by peasants from Acampamento Zé Maria do Tomé, in Ceará. The agents were in plane clothes (without identification) and with an unmarked car, controlling a drone in overflight over the peasant village, located in Chapada Apodi in the municipality of Limoeiro, in the north of Ceará (CE). About 120 families live on the site, resisting the eviction. The peasants expelled the police who issued threats and even fired shots. During the peasants' action, the drone with an acronym of the federal police on it was seized.

The overflight of the drones raised the suspicion of the peasants. Without even knowing that it was a police provocation with the aim of mapping the Camp for the repression of the struggle for land, the workers went to the place and questioned the (policemen) who responded by shooting. According to the reports from the peasants themselves, they went to the vehicle (a black pickup truck) where the police were in, however the agent who was next to the passenger soon asked the peasants: "Do you want a bullet?" and fired a 9mm round.

The Peasants were not intimidated and offensively threw stones towards the car. They also raised their machetes towards the federal police agents. The plainclothes officers ran off, with there truck on full speed. on their escape they committed another crime by running over a motorcyclist.












Residents claim that the drone was flying over the area collecting information of the Camp. An eviction order had been issued in favor of the National Department of Works Against Drought (Dnocs).

With substantial support and funding from the old state, Dnocs developed a project to build an irrigation perimeter to encourage the so-called “agribusiness”, a new guise of latifundia, which operates in the fields of fruit, agriculture and grain production.

During this process, at least 80 families were expropriated, among them was the peasant Zé Maria do Tomé, which today is the name of the Camp. In the 2000s, the fight against the implementing of the project intensified. In the surroundings of the irrigated perimeter, national and international companies are located that destined the production for export.

According to data from Dnocs, currently, about 4 thousand hectares are invaded by large estates. Only three companies: Frutacor, Bananas do Nordeste S/A. (Banesa), Del Monte Fresh Produce concentrate more than 1,800 hectares of land that used to be the home and source of work for hundreds of peasants.

The murder of Zé Maria

on the 20th  of april in 2010, peasant , 44, was murdered in his home, with more than 20 shots. The crime happened after Zé Maria mobilized the residents to fight for the land and denounce the crimes of the latifundium, such as land grabbing and water pollution.

One of those accused of being the mastermind of the crime is the landowner João Teixeira Júnior, owner of Frutacor and one of the biggest businessmen in the field . The middleman of the crime would have been José Aldair Gomes Costa, manager of the Frutacor company, who, together with Francisco Marcos Lima Barros, would have supported the murderer.

The landowner allegedly hired three gunmen to assassinate Zé Maria, including Westilly Hytler Raulino Maia, Antônio Wellington Ferreira Lima, who were killed in a police operation in 2010, and Sebastião Dantas de Barros who allegedly committed suicide in 2012.