We publish a unofficial translation of a call by the Workers League of Brazil, regarding the case of the peasant Luzivaldo de Souza Araújo.
WE DEMAND FREEDOM FOR PEASANT LUZIVALDO!
The struggle of peasants, indigenous peoples, quilombolas, in short, all the working masses who struggle in defense of improvements, is just and therefore, we will actively support it. Therefore, we call on everyone to support the peasant struggle, strengthen our unity between the countryside and the city and defend the liberation of Luzivaldo and his brother Robélio, who are victims of the Old State, political prisoners, and it is the duty of everyone who defends the just struggle of the people, to defend them.
The Old Brazilian bureaucratic State, based on the most backwards alliance between the big bourgeoisie and the landowners, at the service of imperialism, mainly Yankee, continues to commit the most barbaric crimes against the people and it is the duty of all fighters of the class to seek to strengthen the opposition to this group in power, that is, to raise the worker-peasant alliance, the only one capable of bringing down this old and rotten democracy. In this sense, the Liga Operária spares no efforts to support the just peasant struggle, and we raise the highest the flag in defense of the freedom of peasant Luzivaldo de Souza Araújo, 42 years old, and his brother Robélio, 30 years old, who are in prison unjustly since 2019, for a crime of “hearsay” in a place, where the big landlord is the absolute power of the region.
We must support all the people’s fighters, who face their tormentors, especially those people’s fighters who struggle for the destruction of the large estates and defend the destruction of this secular system of land concentration in the country. The accusation imposed against Luzivaldo and his brother is an integral part of a plan by big landlords in the region to try to stop the struggle for a piece of land to live and grow, because Luzivaldo is the stumbling block in the way of the landlords robbing land in the region and how could it not be otherwise – since he refused to accept being on the side of the landowners and is an example to the peasants of the São José da Boa Vista Area in Campina Verde, in the Triângulo Mineiro and its region. We republish the note published on the page of the Brazilian Association of Lawyers of the People – Gabriel Pimenta (ABRAPO).
17th of June of 2023 – ABRAPO
LUZIVALDO: Justice will be done!
The trial of peasant Luzivaldo de Souza Araújo, 42 years old, is scheduled for the next June 26, 2023, in Campina Verde/MG. ABRAPO argues that the trial should be transferred (dismissed), as we understand that there is no environment for justice to be done to Luzivaldo, since the entire accusation against Luzivaldo is based on “anonymous statements” and “hearsay”, which compromises the impartiality of the trial, added to the fact that the region suffers great influence from the landowners, therefore a large part of the local population is influenced by the repeated conflicts between peasants and landowners that have affected the region for decades.
The injustice against Luzivaldo is already a reality, he is in prison, sentenced without evidence: the prosecution presented witnesses who did not witness anything, only “heard it said”, and “anonymous” accusations, not even the “motivation” of the crime was presented – this appears in the complaint of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and is repeated by the sentence naming more than one possible motivation, which in itself forms a legal abomination, however, all these possible motivations (legal inventions) were denied by witnesses.
Luzivaldo’s brother, Robélio, 30, will also be taken to court, which makes it even clearer that this is a political process, as he is not even mentioned by the police officer who supposedly “heard it from someone” that peasant Luzivaldo had committed the crime.
Luzivaldo is still imprisoned for no reason, without evidence, and accused of a crime he did not commit, it being clear that his imprisonment is due to the fact that he is a peasant leader, who for almost 10 years has resisted the various attempts to repossess the Area São José da Boa Vista, where he played the role of a coordinator, in the legitimate struggle for the right to land, making it clear that his imprisonment is political.
We see the political imprisonment, which was proven in the trial of the appeal filed at the Court of Justice of Minas Gerais, where the judges, when denying the revocation of the preventive detention and the annulment of the indictment, based themselves on the fact that the crime had occurred in a settlement area, demonstrating in an undeniable form the criminalization of the peasant movement by the judicial system:
“As this is a crime committed in a settlement area, marked by bloody disputes and where the well-known ‘Law of Silence’ prevails, it is necessary to highlight what could be found during the investigation of the crime”
It should also be noted that the crime in question did not even occur in an area of agrarian conflict, but on a nearby farm, so it has nothing to do with land occupation, it has something to do with it only for those seeking to criminalize it.
Since his arrest (almost four years) ABRAPO together with CEBRASPO, National Commission of the League of Poor Peasants, unions, students and democrats from all over Brazil have been protesting and demanding the IMMEDIATE LIBERATION OF LUZIVALDO.
During the time in prison Luzivaldo has suffered several situations of abuse, as we find in the note of the National Commission of the League of Poor Peasants, situations in which, due to health complications, he spent days hospitalized. We emphasize that due to a liver problem, with an infectious condition, he needed, according to medical recommendations, special diet, which in fact never happened.
Several complaints were forwarded, which even generated a request for information and measures from the Human Rights Commission of the Legislative Assembly of Minas Gerais, authored by Deputy Andreia de Jesus:
As a part of the campaign, dozens of e-mails of protest were sent to the Governor MG Romeu Zema; to the Presidency of the TJMG [Translator’s note: Court of Justice of Minas Gerais]; to the Prisons Department of Minas Gerais, to the State Council of Defense of the Human Rights and to the Commission of Human Rights of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Minas Gerais.
The Brazilian Association of Lawyers of the People – Gabriel Pimenta, reaffirms its conviction in the innocence of the peasant Luzivaldo, who is still imprisoned unjustly, and of his brother Robelio, both of them accused and designated a trial for the next day, 26th of June, expressing our support and hope that the Trial will be impartial, will rescue the truth, the justice, and will prevent another unfair condemnation, like other ones in the history.
WE DEMAND FREEDOM FOR PEASANT LUZIVALDO!
STRUGGLING IS NOT A CRIME!
LUZIVALDO IS A POLITICAL PRISONER!
Brazilian Association of Lawyers of the People – Gabriel Pimenta – (Associação Brasileira dos Advogados do Povo – Gabriel Pimenta – ABRAPO).
Brazilian Center of Solidarity with the Peoples (Centro Brasileiro de Solidariedade aos Povos – CEBRASPO)