RO: Peasants denounce threats and harassment by police on the lands of the former Santa Elina Farm

Caption: Police operation against Camp Manoel Ribeiro. Photo: Peasant Resistance.

We have received a serious new report from the Peasant Resistance website dealing with persecutions, threats and confiscations made by the repressive forces (Environmental Police, Military Police and National Force) at the service of the latifundium in the state of Rondônia. It follows in full:

Rondonia’s police forces continue to perpetrate harassment and intimidation against peasants on the lands of the former Santa Elina Farm, even during the end of the year, as reports made by peasants in the region reveal.

Peasants have reported that 5 vehicles with 25 police of the Military Police, Environmental Police and National Force, made intimidating approaches on routes and businesses in the Zé Bentão Area and at the entrance of Camp Manoel Ribeiro, on the second day of the year. Residents also stated that 3 vehicles circulated in the region on January 3. According to witnesses, most of the police officers did not belong to the neighboring municipalities.

According to reports from residents, during the raids, the police asked for information about Camp Manoel Ribeiro, if anyone knew any of the leaders and if they knew about the existence of weapons in the area, revealing their flagrant persecutory purpose and attempt to criminalize the camp and the peasants fighting for land.

PEASANT HAS HUNTING RIFLE SEIZED

That same day, a peasant was arbitrarily arrested for traveling with his hunting rifle on a local road.

Now, it is public knowledge that on the sites, the use of weapons is indispensable for the survival of the peasants, as a working tool in small hunts to complement their protein diet and as individual protection from animal attacks in the forest areas.

While small peasants have their work tools confiscated, it is well known that large landowners keep real war arsenals and gangs of gunmen on the properties they claim to own and are not even investigated.

POLICE POINT GUN AT PEASANT’S HEAD

A resident of the Zé Bentão Revolutionary Area reported that on December 26 she was violently approached by military police in a blitz in the city of Chupinguaia when she was traveling with her underage daughters to spend the New Year at her relatives’ house in another municipality.

The peasant woman had a gun pointed at her head while the truculent police raid took place just one day after the Christmas celebrations. The fact generated great outrage in the worker and her family.

All these arbitrary acts only increase the hatred and indignation among the people against the injustices of this old state.

AGAINST THE CRISIS, TAKE ALL THE LAND FROM THE LATIFUNDIUM!

As we have stated in previous reports, since the victorious land seizure of the Nossa Senhora Aparecida latifundium almost 6 months ago, the repressive agencies have intensified the persecution and criminalization of the camp under the pretext of curbing crimes in the areas. In addition to the criminalizing actions by these police apparatuses are the actions of the latifundium, which foments mistrust among the masses against the Camp, always blaming the just taking of the land for all the crimes and ills that happen in the surrounding areas. In this way, they cunningly intend to diminish the support of neighbors for the Camp and its occupants.

However, the hard reality of life and work of the people is stronger and more forceful than the lies and plots of the reaction. This fact has caused more and more peasants to organize themselves around what is the only real way out of the crisis: the seizure of all the lands of the latifundium.

This is an unofficial translation of an article published on the A Nova Democracia website on January 8.

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