Caption: The people of Montenegro protest against the murder of the young man. Photo: Jornal Ibiá
In the early hours of January 10, Marcelo Júnior dos Santos Teixeira, a young 18 year old worker, was murdered by police of the Montenegro Military Brigade in the metropolitan area of Porto Alegre. Marcelo was riding a motorcycle with a friend when he was shot. In the following days, a recording of what happened circulated on social networks, contradicting the police’s version that the young men were carrying drugs. The event generated widespread outrage among the city residents.
Marcelo Júnior had gone out with his friend to buy a soda when they were surprised by the Brigade during a night operation. His friend, also eighteen years old, nervous about not having a driver’s license, tried to escape the cops’ approach. They chased the young men with a vehicle and surrounded them near Marcelo’s house, with a second car in front, headlights on. When the young man tried to evade the car, a police officer shot Marcelo, who died after being rescued in the hospital.
The Military Brigade, on standby, justified it by saying that the youths were involved in drug trafficking. A photo released by the Civil Police shows a black backpack with packets of marijuana and crack, which they say they found with the boys. They also reported that the motorcycle had started towards the police, who had “acted in self-defense” by shooting the passenger.
After that, however, a video of what happened circulated through social networks, showing the exact moment of the shots. It can be seen in the video that the youngsters didn’t carry any backpack, only the soft drink. In addition, neither of the young people had any police record.
On January 12, after the video was released, the population marched by the hundreds through the center of the city demanding justice. Along the main street, the demonstrators, along with Marcelo’s family and friends, pressed the city’s “authorities”. Outraged, they chanted slogans like Justice for Marcelinho! while carrying posters and balloons of mourning.
The case also generated a huge commotion and revolt in the social networks, where the residents of the city made other complaints against the arbitrary and reactionary character of the Montenegrin police. Marcelo’s relatives, in the face of cowardly attacks on his image promoted by the local media and reactionaries, rebutted the generic accusations that associated the young man with drug trafficking. Together with friends and acquaintances, they used virtual platforms to clarify that Marcelo was never involved with drugs, that he was a young family worker.
Caption: Approximately 2,000 employees participated in the protest | Photo: disclosure
Ford workers held another action against the closing of the plant in Camaçari on the morning of January 21. The series of protests began when the multinational company announced on the 11th of the same month that it would shut down its operations in Brazil.
In a symbolic act, the workers took off their uniforms, in which they wrote the names of all the relatives who will be affected by unemployment, and hung them on the fence that surrounds the factory headquarters.
The automaker claims that five thousand employees will be affected. However, the president of the Metalworkers Union of Bahia, Júlio Bonfim, contests the number, stating that the real impact of the loss will be 12 thousand direct workers. Also considering the indirect ones, around 60 thousand people will be affected.
The automobile sector is one of the most affected by the general crisis of monopolies. Brazil’s semi-feudal character necessarily leads it to undergo a process of deindustrialization, denationalization of companies and demobilization of industrial chains, making it increasingly dependent on commodities.
Crisis of bureaucratic capitalism: Ford announces closure of its factories in Brazil
The U.S. automaker, Ford, announced on January 11 that it will close all of its vehicle manufacturing units in Brazil. With this measure, Ford (which has factories in Bahia, São Paulo and Ceará), will lay off more than 22,000 workers.
Against the closure of the factories, employees of the company have protested in Camaçari, Bahia and Taubaté, São Paulo.
In Camaçari, the workers arrived at 5:30 a.m. to begin their work shift, however they found the gates of the unit closed. After that, the workers held an assembly in the parking lot of the unit and then went to the city hall to continue with the protest. According to the President of the Metalworkers Union of Camaçari, Júlio Bonfim, so far the employees have not been summoned to settle the accounts, much less to close the contracts, a fact that, according to him, leaves the workers helpless.
Júlio Bonfim, explained that the decision to close manufacturing activities in Brazil, was exposed to him by the president of Ford in South America, Lyle Watters. According to the magnate, the decision was made because of the country’s economic instability.
Bomfim also said that the executive, Lyle, said that the coronavirus issue was decisive for the decision made. The speech is in line with the note the automaker issued to the press to justify the closure: “as the Covid-19 pandemic expands, the industry’s persistent idle capacity and reduced sales results in years of significant losses,” the statement said.
In Taubaté, a protest drew some 500 workers, who positioned themselves against the plant’s closure. An assembly defined the beginning of a watch at the company gates, with the aim of preventing the entry and exit of materials.
AGONIZING CRISIS OF BUREAUCRATIC CAPITALISM
The exit of the imperialist multinational Ford from the country is yet another result of the profound crisis that is hitting Brazil, which is still suffering the impacts of the imperialist crisis of 2020. With Ford’s exit, the growing and criminal deindustrialization of the country continues.
Data from the Ministry of Economy show that tax incentives for automobile manufacturers reached R$43.7 billion between 2010 and 2020. In the last six years, multinationals in the automobile sector have injected 69 billion dollars – the equivalent today of more than R$367 billion – into Brazilian subsidiaries. Of this initial ‘investment’, just over half (US$ 36.9 billion) has already been returned in profit remittances and debt payments to the parent companies.
Companies like this always look for countries in which they will be able to draw the maximum profit, that is, spend as little as possible and obtain a great financial advantage. To do so they exploit the soil, mineral resources and cheap labor of such nations.
For this reason, to attract such companies, the governments of semi-colonial countries try to wipe out their labor legislation, taking all the rights they can from the worker, reducing taxes, offering subsidies and handing over all the wealth of the nation into the hands of such companies.
The automaker’s ambitions are so clear that even the president, Bolsonaro, declared that the company took such a measure because it wanted more subsidies. For his part, the mayor, Rodrigo Maia, took advantage of the situation to defend the ‘tax reform’, a measure dictated by the multilateral organizations of imperialism (World Bank) that precisely aims to further facilitate the exploitation of the national market, by foreign imperialist companies.
All the rulers of the various parties that have passed through the plateau never had the intention of developing national industry, technology, science, etc. On the contrary, it has always been preferable for them to deliver all our raw materials on a platter at the price of bananas and then importing the technologies produced through these at exorbitant prices.
All this process strengthens the latifundium and semi-feudalism, because it makes them sell their ‘commodities’ (together with the big bourgeoisie) to these imperialist companies. On the other hand, the vast majority of people, workers, peasants, small and medium bourgeoisie, suffer with the results of deindustrialization, in addition to working without any rights (when they are not thrown into unemployment or ‘informal work’), they also pay a high price by buying industrialized goods that arrive from outside the country; therefore, they do not take advantage of modern and scientific technologies.
Caption: Buses were set on fire by residents, so great was the revolt against the cowardice practiced by the MPs. Photo: G1 Reproduction
Residents of the Guaianases neighborhood, in the eastern part of São Paulo, protested against the murder of the 27-year-old worker Rodney Batista on January 25.
The residents closed the avenue Nordestina, around 10 am. They were attacked and intimidated by military police (MPs) who dropped tear gas bombs and fired rubber bullets. In response, the residents set fire to a bus.
According to witnesses, Rodney, who was a gardener, was killed when he was approached by the military when he left for work in the very condominium where he lived with his family, located in the same area.
The man was reportedly startled when he saw the police with a photograph of him in their hands trying to find him. At this moment Rodney ran and was shot in the leg. Even shot he managed to jump over a wall and hide in a neighbor’s house.
In an interview with the press monopoly Record, the neighbor in question, who did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation by the police, reported that “the police arrived and sent everyone out and then did not let anyone else in. They shot about seven times, an execution, with no chance of defense, he was without a gun with nothing”.
In a note the MP says they went to the site after a report of a robbery at a gas station and that in action 2 suspects were arrested and one was killed after an exchange of gunfire.
Another man in interview during the protest said “I heard him saying don’t kill me, don’t kill me, I heard three shots and then two more, when the woman left in despair saying that they had killed him inside her house”.
The residents were even more revolted, because at the end of the action the cops failed to get help to Rodney and left the man in agony for about an hour.
“They killed him in cold blood at close range, he was not armed and it was not just one shot, and still left the guy inside agonizing, totally negligent, no rescue came only more cars, they said the rescue was coming and then when they called they reported that there was no call there,” denounced Edinei Batista, brother of the victim.
Family members also denounced the military for wanting to take the recording of the local security cameras to destroy them and clear the scene of the barbaric crime. But Rodney’s relatives and residents of the housing complex prevented the police from destroying the tapes and handed them over to the Civil Police.
“Everybody’s angry because he was a hard worker who helped his neighbor, whatever he could do for you he did; today it was my nephew tomorrow it could be my two kids,” said Milena dos Santos, Rodney’s aunt.
Wesley Batista, another brother of Rodney, said that his parents are very shaken and suffering after what happened, for him the crime is related to the role of the police in this society: “injustice, there’s nothing more to say, the footage shows the injustice that the police have practiced, but for them it’s just another black man, they do not care about my brother who is in a coffin my family who is suffering, a savagery what they did.
Rodney was married and left behind a three-year-old daughter and a six-year-old stepson.
BUS BURNING AS PROTEST AGAINST POLICE VIOLENCE
On several occasions residents angry at the regular violence employed by MPs against peripheral populations, have made fair use of the combative protest with barricades and burning vehicles to oppose and confront the military, who in turn are armed to the teeth.
In São Paulo, only in the year 2020, AND itself reported several cases in which through brutality committed by the police, residents already exhausted from constant daily oppression took to the streets to demonstrate their indignation against the system that makes them watch a son, relative or neighbor be murdered with every police raid. We will cite three cases:
On May 31, two buses were set on fire by residents of the Cidade Tiradentes neighborhood in the eastern part of São Paulo. Workers took action as a form of protest after a young man was killed by military personnel of the Tobias Aguiar Ostensives (Rota) on the night of May 30.
On June 15, residents of Vila Clara, in the south zone of São Paulo, set fire to ten buses, destroyed three others, vehicles were also destroyed and barricades were set on fire. Even the PM’s shock troops were repelled by youths infuriated by the brutal execution of 15-year-old Guilherme Silva Guedes, who was killed by police.
On August 10, six buses were set on fire in protest after Rogério Ferreira da Silva Júnior, 19, was murdered by police while riding a motorcycle through the Parque Bristol neighborhood on his birthday.
This follows the escalation of reactionary violence by the latifundium and the old state against the peasants of Camp Manoel Ribeiro.
Peasants reported unusual movement in the Nossa Senhora latifundium, between 6 pm and 8 pm on the night of January 20: a police vehicle entered the headquarters; 4 pickup trucks, cars and motorcycles were roaming along the main road leading to Chupinguaia (Line MC01) and on the roads inside the latifundium; a drone flew over the camp. Campers reported that gunmen then fired with a large-caliber gun at a Camp Manoel Ribeiro security post.
Due to the presence of the police car in the headquarters of the latifundium, these crimes committed by gunmen from the Nossa Senhora latifundium were in collusion with police officers. This is certain, but given Brazil’s history, especially that of Rondônia, it is certain that this was another case in which the police act as private security for the latifundium.
The families of Camp Manoel Ribeiro are still firm in the fight for the last piece of land watered with the blood of the heroic combatants of Corumbiara.
PEASANTS OF THE CAMP MANOEL RIBEIRO REJECT POLICE AND GUNMEN IN A FULL DAY OF RESISTANCE
Families from Camp Manoel Ribeiro firmly resisted attacks by the police and the latifundium that extended throughout January 18.
After the latifundium’s vain attempt to intimidate the peasants by sending gunmen to the occupied area, dozens of policemen from different repressive agencies carried out two attacks against the families.
The workers managed to record the aggressions on video.
SEE THE VIDEO:
GUNMEN FROM THE LATIFUNDIUM, TRY TO INTIMIDATE THE PEASANTS
According to the families’ report, on the morning of the 18th, two men from the Nossa Senhora latifundium, carrying short guns at the waist, one of them hooded, moved towards the camp in a truck (white flag) and approached one of the gates of the occupied area.
When they realized that the peasants were not intimidated, they said they just wanted to talk and that they wanted the workers to vacate the area claiming that they needed to remove part of the cattle from the landowner.
Faced with the intimidation, the peasants stood firm and refused to leave the area.
POLICE IN COORDINATION WITH THE LATIFUNDIUM MAKE A FAILED ATTEMPT AT ILLEGAL EVICTION
In the afternoon of the same day, around 3 pm, families saw 7 police vehicles arriving at the latifundium headquarters. Then, together with the farmer’s pickup trucks, the policemen went to Camp Manoel Ribeiro with the purpose of expelling the peasants from the Nossa Senhora Estate.
Military police vehicles and other dark camouflaged vehicles of special troops took part in the attack, but the peasants were unable to identify.
About 30 policemen carrying shields and in attack formation confronted the camped families in a hateful illegal operation.
Responding to the advance of the repressive forces that threatened to invade part of the occupied area, the peasants set up burning barricades and launched fireworks.
At every moment the peasants denounced the criminal character of the operation carried out without any warrant, as if it were not already absurd by its own anti-people nature. “Fighting is not a crime!”, “Even if the thing thickens, this land is ours!”, “If the peasant does not plant, the city does not eat lunch or dinner!”, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, thousand, the League advances throughout Brazil!”, ” Gunmen of the latifundium!”, “These lands have no title. The landlord grabs everything”, “These lands are from the old Santa Elina! These lands belong to the people,” the workers shouted in the midst of the songs of struggle.
POLICE BLOCK ROAD
Afterwards, police and vehicles blocked the main road that cuts through the neighboring Revolutionary Areas and gives access to the camp. Vehicles from the military and environmental police riot battalion were identified.
Organized, the families wielded red flags, sang fight songs, slogans, and raised their work tools.
Faced with the vibrant resistance, after about half an hour, the vehicles suspended the blockade, headed for the headquarters of the Nossa Senhora Aparecida estate, where they made a stop, and retreated to the city of Chupinguaia.
Police officers removed flags and signs indicating the entrance to Camp Manoel Ribeiro – another illegal action, as they were placed on private properties of peasants. The next morning the flags were already flying again, returned to the same places by the peasants.
PEASANTS DENOUNCE COLLABORATION OF LOCAL LANDOWNERS
Suspicions on the part of workers that other landowners in the region are supporting the Nossa Senhora Aparecida latifundium are increasing.
According to reports from peasants in the neighboring areas, since the three days before the attacks, the headquarters of Nossa Senhora estate has shown atypical movement of different cars and vans.
The rapid and constant entry and exit of vehicles reported by the residents would be the result of a possible gathering of local landowners, one of whom is the land thief Antenor Duarte, known to be one of the principals of the heinous crime that occurred in 1995 known as the “Corumbiara Massacre.
In addition, the presence of gunmen standing on the road at night, near the entrance to the latifundium headquarters, was also reported.
As we pointed out in our last article, this collaboration of the landowners is due to the fear that more landless peasants and unemployed people from neighboring municipalities will follow the example of Camp Manoel Ribeiro and take over other large estates, pushed by the serious crisis.
Professor Renato Nathan, a comrade and great supporter of the peasant struggle, was assassinated by gunmen of the civil police on April 9, 2012 at age 28. Born to a poor peasant family and outraged by all injustices he saw, he dedicated his life to the revolutionary fight alongside peasants, workers, students, and teachers.
Renato taught in schools and worked as a topographer in many peasant areas. He actively participated in rural peasant efforts to transform devastated land into places full of families, production, houses, schools, and businesses. He helped organize the peasants to construct roads and bridges and to defend them against the persecutions of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA).
Renato also helped organize Popular Assemblies, which the inhabitants use to decide important matters. He stood steadfast against injustices, fighting against corruption, exposing opportunists, and denouncing the electoral farce of the old state. He mobilized the public to boycott elections and supported resistance against evictions.
After Renato’s assassination, popular and revolutionary movements in Brazil proclaimed April 9 as the Day of the Brazilian People’s Heroes in his honor. His wife Ludmila was also a committed revolutionary who spent her life fighting for the peasants’ right to land, bravely resisting threats of eviction and attacks of all kinds with the other peasants. She struggled with illness due to the poor healthcare system, and struggled more after Renato’s murder. She died shortly after, also at the age of 28.
We honor the memory of Renato Nathan and all popular activists and leaders who have fallen in the struggle for the defense of rights of the people in the countryside and in the cities of Brazil. Professor Renato Nathan and Ludmila live on as true heroes of the Brazilian people and examples of revolutionary spirit!
Renato Nathan, present in the fight! Renato Nathan, presente na luta!
We reproduce, in full, an open letter produced by families of workers, mostly young people, who are fighting eviction from property that was abandoned until the occupation by these families about a year ago, in the Morro Alto neighborhood, in the municipality of Vespasiano, metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte.
The Independência occupation in Morro Alto asks for your support!
We are workers, fathers and mothers of families, young people and unemployed. We occupy this abandoned land near Copasa, in the neighborhood of Morro Alto, in Vespasiano, to get out of the suffocation of rent! We are fighting for a roof over our children and a more dignified life for our families! The construction company Araújo Lima claims to be the owner of this land, but when we arrived here over a year ago, everything was abandoned. The work that this construction company was going to start was blocked by the courts because it would have committed several environmental crimes. They want to push us with their bellies by means of dubious deeds and documents. It is very important to make it clear: we are not inside the property that the construction company Araújo Lima claims to own! The only truth in this whole story is that Araújo Lima has never done anything on this land!
Now, overnight and in the middle of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, this so-called “justice,” which always plays the game of the rich and powerful, is threatening to evict us! They want to destroy everything we have built with the sweat of our own faces! They want to destroy our houses, which we have built with so much effort and sacrifice, brick by brick! They want to destroy our dream of a better life for our families! We will not accept this!
We live off odd jobs, we are servants, day laborers, street vendors. Most of us, in order to put food on the table, depend on the “Bolsa Família” and emergency assistance, which has just been cut. How are we going to do it? We don’t have money to pay rent and we don’t want to see our children in need. That we will not accept! We are children of Vespasiano and Morro Alto and all we want is to raise our children in the community where we were raised. Neither judges nor politicians have lifted a brick, nailed a nail, paid or done anything! None of them helped us in our most difficult moments, when we were under the canvas shacks at the edge of the stream, facing sun and rain, night and day.
Now, they come here sending messages and making threats, saying that a battalion will come, they will destroy our houses, that we will be arrested and given more pressure. They want to make us out as criminals, but they are the real bandits! There are many strange things in this story. It was the representatives of the construction company Araújo Lima themselves who encouraged us to build our houses here. What did they want with that? Our fight is fair and necessary! Housing is a right! We are more and more united and organized and most serious and honest people are on our side!
We ask for the support of the whole population for our cause. The residents of Morro Alto and surrounding neighborhoods know that most of the houses in the region were built through occupations. We are witnesses to how the lives of the people who have managed to get out of rent have improved and we also want to achieve a better life for our families! We demand an immediate end to all eviction threats! We demand the regularization of all the houses in the occupation! We demand sewage and electricity networks for all the houses in the occupation! Emergency assistance of R$ 1,000.00 for all the unemployed! Vaccination and tests now!
Caption: Intubated patients are being transported to other states on airplanes. Photo: FAB Disclosure
The unprecedented crisis affecting the state of Amazonas, especially the capital Manaus, has revolted families of people hospitalized with Covid-19 at the hospital and emergency rooms on August 28.
Mário Ypiranga Avenue, in the Adrianópolis neighborhood, South Zone of Manaus, was shut down on January 14 by families demanding a solution to the problems and the basic right to life, denied by the governments’ negligence.
The act exposes the chaotic situation that the city of Manaus is going through, as a faithful portrait of the crisis that has already claimed the lives of over 207,000 Brazilians. According to family members, due to the lack of oxygen tanks in the state, patients are having their machines lowered or turned off, all to save the product that is in short supply. Those who do not die as a direct result of the pandemic, die as a result of the negligence of the government.
“Information came in that they were going to decrease the oxygen and there are patients who need 15% of the oxygen and they wanted to decrease it to 6%. They arrive and don’t ask for permission; they get there and they decrease. My patient is 81 years old, the doctor got there and decreased his oxygen, and he went from 90, which is a good saturation, to 7. Being his companion I knew that he needs that to live, so I went and pressed the button for oxygen,” denounced Nathalie Batista, who works as a caregiver for the elderly.
The oxygen rationing comes at a time when patients are being transferred to other states such as Ceará, Goiás, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte and Distrito Federal, also due to the lack of the product.
Over the last few weeks the health system of the Amazonas has collapsed. The scenes are more like horror movies, with doctors taking oxygen tanks in their own cars to hospitals, family members desperately trying to buy the product, even cold storage rooms were installed in the cemeteries of Manaus, since there is no more room to bury people. The crisis is such that the tests of the National High School Exam (Enem) were cancelled in the state.
The government of Amazonas declared a 10-day curfew in the city, due to the gravity of the situation.
CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
Faced with the crisis in the Amazon, and the genocide that affects our people, certain characters are highlighted for their disastrous and criminal actions and total disdain for the lives of poor people. They are worthy of being tried in the Hague Tribunal for crimes against humanity.
First, General Eduardo Pazuello, who is in charge of the Ministry of Health, is incapable of presenting a concrete plan of mass vaccination for the population, thus prolonging all the suffering of the masses. As a representative of the Armed Forces, the general demonstrates the inefficiency of this institution, which after not getting syringes, is now unable to even transport oxygen at levels required for the largest state in the country.
Another one whose role has been detestable is the vice president and representative of the right-wing military within the federal government, Hamilton Mourão. In an interview on January 15, the reactionary cynically said that the government “could not predict what was going to happen in Manaus” and added: “the government is doing everything it can.”
Mourão’s statement contrasts with the information given by the Attorney General of the State of Amazonas, Igor da Silva Spindola, who stated that the Ministry of Health was alerted at least four days ago about the lack of oxygen in the state.
“The state has not prepared itself. And as if that weren’t enough, the Logistics directorate of the Ministry of Health only met today (01/14) to deal with it after being warned four days ago,” the man said in an interview with Época magazine.
The Attorney General also criticized the lack of logistics of the military at the head of the Ministry of Health: “lack of coordination” of the federal government and of military personnel within the ministry.
Another character directly responsible for the whole crisis driven by Covid-19 is the fascist president Jair Bolsonaro. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Bolsonaro has disregarded the virus and even called it “the little flu”. The president has always made a point of circumventing isolation measures by encouraging the masses to do the same.
Bolsonaro also strove to let the virus proliferate: proof of this were the constant changes of health ministers, seeking someone to submit to him in his genocidal plan, eventually finding his match within the Armed Forces, as it should be.
In the scientific field, Bolsonaro promoted denialism, stimulating an obscure anti-vaccine campaign and advertising medicines without scientific proof of effectiveness in combating the virus.
With these and other measures, the fascist Bolsonaro led thousands of people to doubt the existence or even the danger of contagion from the virus, a fact that ended up taking the lives of 207,000 Brazilian workers.
PEOPLE ORGANIZED FOR THEIR OWN DEFENSE
No matter how hard the reactionaries try in every way to murder the people in order to destroy productive forces, aiming to restore the parasitic reproduction of the capitalist system, the people, together with their organized vanguard, have carried out and continue to carry out campaigns of awareness, distribution of masks, alcohol and inputs for the protection of the poor and working people.
As an example of this effort, Sanitary Committees for Popular Defense (CSDP) were created throughout Brazil with the purpose of defending the health of the people. These committees showed once again that the workers can only count on their equals, because if they depend on the bourgeois-landowning state, they will only be faced with suffering and death.
Caption: Sanitary Committee in protest through the streets of Pinhais. January 2021 Photo: Outreach
Last Sunday (January 10), the Sanitary Committee for the Popular Defense of Pinhais/PR organized, together with the residents of the region, an act in mourning for the more than 200,000 deaths caused by COVID-19 and to demand the vaccine for all as a measure of containment of the pandemic, which has, at the beginning of this year, already reached records of deaths and contamination in the country.
The action aimed to mourn the victims and denounce the complete disregard with which the Brazilian State has been dealing with the health crisis. Such a neglect that in this moment of global race for the vaccine, there is an absolute lack of haste by the government of Bolsonaro/generals and local governments to ensure mass vaccination that could finally put an end to this nightmare for the people.
The Committee went through the busiest streets of the region carrying a large banner with the slogan “Fight for the 200 thousand deaths of Covid-19!” and “Vaccine for all now!” During the route they also handed out flyers from house to house while talking to the residents and merchants who, among several demonstrations of support, also wanted to show their grief and indignation by hanging black cloths in their houses and establishments. At the end, the banner was hung in a public square of the neighborhood.
The Sanitary Committee of Pinhais/PR continues organizing the popular masses in the fight for their basic needs through actions to prevent the coronavirus and against the effects of the economic crisis. Throughout 2020, the Committee distributed hundreds of hygiene and protection materials; promoted popular bazaars, community meetings, public health and political protests; collected and distributed basic food baskets and organized the free distribution of thousands of meals to residents of the region.
Caption: In the image from left to right, Jarbas Teixeira de Sena’s body, photo of him alive and photo of Cristiano Rezende Exterkotter. Both murdered at the behest of the latifundium. Photo: Peasant Resistance.
Reprinted reports issued by the Peasant Resistance Newspaper on threats and attempted murder by order of the latifundium against a peasant resident of the Bacuri Area in Rondônia.
Peasant Joel, resident of the Bacuri area, located in the municipality of Rio Crespo in Rondônia, can be murdered at any time.
For more than a week, gunmen at the service of the landowner Gesulino Cezar Travagini Castro have been watching the worker’s house. Joel escaped from an assassination attempt on January 2.
Gesulino is the perpetrator and leader of dozens of murders in the region of Buritis, a city in Rondônia located 330 kilometers (km) from the capital Porto Velho, in the region of Ariquemes. In this city he relies on the collusion of some civil and military police officers, especially the collusion of the Buritis Civil Police Chief, Lucas Torres Ribeiro.
In Cujubim, city of Rondônia located in the same region, 159 km from the capital, Gesulino also organized civil and military police to cover up his crimes, counting on Mayor Pedro Marcelo Fernandes Pereira.
The modus operandi of murders motivated by land disputes is always the same: the murderers approach the victim and shoot him with several rounds.
Several gunshot victims in the region have something in common: they came into contradiction with Gesulino Cezar Travagini Castro. As the murders that took place in the region in 2019 and at the end of 2020 demonstrate.
MURDERS BY ORDER OF THE LATIFUNDIUM
On January 12, 2019, former councilman Jarbas Teixeira de Sena, 45, was shot dead in a bar in the city of Cujubim. The killer was on a motorcycle.
On October 16, 2020, Cristiano Rezende Exterkotter, 34, was murdered in the Bacuri Area. His wife reported that he was riding a motorcycle to his neighbor to get a bunch of bananas when he was shot.
On December 25, 2020, Ronaldo Leonardo da Silva, 43, was murdered in an area of agrarian conflict.
Both Cristiano Rezende and Jarbas were murdered in the Bacuri Area at the behest of Gesulino and his gunmen with the collusion of Cujubim and Ariquemes police.
The deaths caused by this landowner are never investigated. Even though these are widely known by the population of Buritis, the criminal continues to be covered up by Chief Lucas Torres. Even when the executors of his orders, the gunmen, come to know more about his criminal endeavors, Gesulino kills them.
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.