We publish an translated version of an article by the brazilian democratic magazin A Nova Democracia that was sent to us.


RO: 'These lands belong to the people and we will fight for them', peasants claim as Military Police and National Force prepare massacre

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Popular Assembly of the Tiago Campin dos Santos and Ademar Ferreira Areas, October 02, 2021. Photo: Resistência Camponesa

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During the PA the families declare: "We will not leave here, these lands belong to the people and we will fight for them". Photo: Resistência Camponesa

On the 2nd of October, thousands of peasants from the Tiago Campin dos Santos and Ademar Ferreira areas, located in the district of Nova Mutum, in Porto Velho, Rondônia (RO), gathered and held a Popular Assembly (PA) to discuss the preparations for a new massacre by the reactionaries of the Marcos Rocha government and the genocidal Bolsonaro. On the faces of the men, women and children could be seen the toughness and determination required in the face of the situation that presents itself. On the banners, the march and the banner extended, the slogan: Land for those who work on it! Long live the Agrarian Revolution!

In front of the families, there is a criminal and illegal police siege that aims, through terror and massacre against the peasants, to hand over the lands of more than 600 families to the latifundia and to intimidate those who rise up in the face of the terrible situation of misery and secular inequality.

The denunciations are made by peasants organised by the League of Poor Peasants (LCP) through a letter issued by AP. The document states that the reactionary Brazilian state, through the National Force of Bolsonaro and generals and the Military Police of Marcos Rocha, governor of Rondonia state, have intensified in recent weeks the preparation of a new massacre. For this they are counting on the help of the Federal Police (PF).

According to the denunciations, the troops have been acting together with paramilitary gangs that "are at the service of the Norbrasil and Santa Carmem farms", former latifundia occupied by the peasants. The workers claim that the group remains day and night at the headquarters of the farms.

The statement issued by AP states that the ones benefiting from the massacre against the peasants are the landowners Antonio Martins dos Santos (Galo Velho) and the Leite family. Both are accused of being land grabbers and supposed owners of the old farms Norbrasil and Arco-íris (where Área Tiago Campin dos Santos is located today) and Santa Carmem and Boi Sossego (where Área Ademar Ferreira is located today).

Other attacks in the region

This is not the first time that families in these areas have resisted cowardly attacks. As already reported by AND a year ago, also under the command of Marcos Rocha and Colonel Alexandre Almeida, police troops perpetrated all kinds of illegality and abuses against the Tiago Campin dos Santos area, carrying out torture and arrests, in addition to the siege and banning of food and milk from entering the area in an attack that lasted more than five days.

On the 13th of August this year, a massacre commanded by the same reactionaries already mentioned and executed by the Military Police, the National Security Force and the Special Police Operations Battalion (BOPE) took the lives of three peasants from the Ademar Ferreira Area: Amarildo, Amaral and Kevin. In addition, during the attack police troops set fire to houses, shot and hunted several other workers.

CNDH warns of preparation for massacre

The National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) issued on the 5th of October a note denouncing the imminent eviction from the Tiago Campin dos Santos Area. In the document, the council states that since the judicial decision in favour of the eviction, issued on 27/09 by judge Ilisir Bueno Rodrigues, considerable police reinforcement has been requested for the region.

The CNDH also states that more than 2,000 people live on the site and that the site "has been occupied since 2013 by different groups of landless people, having emerged in a period coinciding with the end of the construction of the Jirau Hydroelectric Power Plant on the Madeira River, located 120 km from Porto Velho". According to the text, the end of the works left thousands of workers without jobs and housing, which pushed them into the struggle for land.

The Council is concerned that, in view of the worsening of agrarian conflicts and the violence of the old state and the latifundia against peasants in Rondonia and throughout the country, especially in the midst of the pandemic, new massacres such as the so-called "Corumbiara Massacre" which occurred in 1995, may be repeated. The action, moved mainly by repressive state forces on duty, resulted in the death of eight peasants, including one child, the disappearance of 20 workers, 350 injured workers and 200 arrests.

Read the full document.

The transformation of the occupied lands in Rondonia

The peasants declared in a statement that the latifundia have been converted into areas where men, women, the elderly and more than 400 children and adolescents live. There the workers produce food such as cassava, banana, beans, corn and pumpkin.

The families call on "all true democrats, intellectuals, businessmen and workers in general to defend the rights of the Brazilian people, to denounce this crime" against the peasants of Rondonia. And finally they state: "We make it clear, once again, that we will not leave here, these lands belong to the people and we will fight for them. We want land to work and live with dignity, not repression and slaughter".

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During the demonstration, the peasants held up banners with the slogans Land for those who work on it! Long Live the Agrarian Revolution! Photo: Resistência Camponesa

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Demonstration in the Tiago Campin dos Santos and Ademar Ferreira Areas, the 2nd of October. Photo: Resistência Camponesa

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Demonstration in the Tiago Campin dos Santos and Ademar Ferreira Areas, the 2nd of October. Photo: Resistência Camponesa