Political persecution in Brazil: the case of Luzivaldo

Luzivaldo is a peasant and coordinator of the Boa Vista camp in Campina Verde, Minas Gerais. This region is dominated by the big landlords, in response the poor peasants organized and in 2014 they carried out a land occupation, from which the Boa Vista camp was born. Recently, Luzivaldo has suffered a political persecution and therefore has now been sentenced to 15 years in prison for a crime that he did not commit and is not proven, being a political sentence to persecute peasants who struggle for the land.

During the process, different inconsistencies and lies were used which were falsified by different witnesses. However, during the trial they were taken as truths although there were nothing more than assumptions about these lies that would mean Luzivaldo’s “motivation” to carry out the crime. This is reported by ABRAPO [ Associação Brasileira dos Advogados do Povo Gabriel Pimenta – Brazilian Association of Lawyers of the People Gabriel Pimenta] in an interview for the newspaper A Nova Democracy.

The trial has not proven the authorship of the crime, it has only been based on the false hypotheses to be able to condemn Luzivaldo. The police itself admitted that they have not witnesses of the incident. In addition, the alleged witnesses that the police compiled were never identified. Therefore the accusation of the camp coordinator is based on alleged rumors of people who did not see the crime. For this reason, ABRAPO denounces the trial as a police construction and add “Luzivaldo is a victim of the process itself, mounted to enable the achievement of this political persecution.”

In the lands where the Boa Views camp is located there is a strong presence of large estates and therefore the big landlords have a great political influence. ABRAPO mentions: “The power of large estates in Campina Verde is gigantic, because they [the big landlords] influence all institutions: the Judiciary, the Public Ministry, the two [civil and military] police, the local politicians power”. The prosecutor himself, as they denounce, talked about voting against the “dispossession industry”, that is, the struggle of poor peasants struggling for the land, and struggling for “human rights”, the right to private property of the big landlords. Demonstrating that the trial was not partial, but that there was a political cause that motivated it. Luzivaldo has been in jail since 2019 for allegedly threatening a witness, one of the investigating police. For this alleged crime, the police is the only witness.

Poor peasants demonstrating for Luzivaldo. Source: Liga Operária

Before this political trial, there has been a great struggle for the liberation of Luzivaldo. The slogan Luzivaldo is innocent! Struggling is not a crime! And there were vigils with banners of organizations such as the National Front of Struggle – Camp and City, MST, Poor Peasants League, Workers League, settlers of the Boa Vista camp, among others.

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