“O Marco Temporal” – a law for genocide

Foto: Databank AND

Introductory it needs to be noted that the original article was written even before the 21st of September, when the Federal Supreme Court rejected the law due to the fierce struggle of the Brazilian people.

In the crisis of bureaucratic capitalism, the big landlord-bureaucratic State extends its grasp towards each straw that could preserve it a second longer from the downfall. It is inevitably sick, it is the capitalism that imperialism has generated and generates in the backward countries, so it is connected to semi-feudality and is dependent on and serves imperialism. In order to maintain it, the big landlord-bureaucratic State has to keep it alive, and this is only possible through more public debt, or through more direct reaches into the pocket of the people based on more direct measures, such as increased taxes, etc.

Its bond to semi-feudality leads to the fact that the imperialist capital is interwoven with the landownership in many forms, and therefore it strives to concentrate the soil more and more in the hands of big landlords and ‘associations’. As a consequence the land of the poor peasants is being robbed. And in the case of Brasil, a part of the poor peasantry is made up by indigenous people and the descendants of fugitive and liberated slaves with African origin, the Quilombolas. By starvation, threats, kidnappings, poisoning, forced disappearance, open murder, the reaction is trying to break their resistance and drive them away from their land. It is a systematic murder of the Brazilian people which, due to their historical development process, contains a huge number of different ethnic groups, and therefore this murder is actually genocide.

Foto: Databank AND

Now the ruling classes in Brazil came up with a new law in order to be able to carry out their land robbery even greater. On May 30th of this year, the Chamber of Deputies (Câmara dos Deputados), similar to the “House of Lords” in GB, the upper parliamentary authority, signed the Law P490, better known as “Marco Temporal”, that has been going on for several years in the federal administration. This states that the indigenous peoples are only allowed to posses the land that they have demonstrably possessed at the time of the adoption of the new constitution in 1988.

This had a lot of consequences. First of all, not all indigenous tribes could register their land in 1988. It is not an easy thing to do, due to the Coronelismi, because all those institutions that are connected to the land survey, notary, government posts, etc., are connected to the big landlords and are under their dominance, and these are not particularly interested in the marking of the territory of the indigenous people.

Then there has been 35 years since the constitution. During this time, many were driven out from their land several times by the harassment of the landlords and the area that they have inhabited was taken away by the landlords. Then, especially in the Amazon, there are a lot of tribes that live isolated and neither is their land registered, nor do they have a lot of contact with the rest of the world. In all of these cases, they have almost no possibility to maintain the land that they are already living on.

And what should not be forgotten is the natural population increase in indigenous families. Their children also need land to work on to start families. And these are many children, 5-10 per family is normal. The new law therefore prohibits an expansion of the previous areas, although the natural population growth continues and thus more peasants will be landless.

In addition, the law includes that the indigenous population no longer has to be asked if the government wants to build military bases, motorways, water dams, waterways, or power lines on their territory. Recently on August 4, Luiz Inácio signed a decree that will allow the construction of a power line, that crosses 122 km of the area of the indigenous “Waimiri Atroari”. All of this without the consent of the indigenous population, of course.

However, on last September 21st the law fell due to the great indigenous struggles through all the country. This is how A Nova Democracia explains it: The criminal and usurping thesis of the temporal framework, created by the latifundium and other ruling classes, was rejected by the Supreme Federal Court (STF) on Thursday, the 21st of September. The result (9 votes against the temporal framework and 2 in favor) reflected an intense and constant struggle of Brazilian indigenous peoples, who emerged greatly victorious.

Closely after the trial in the STF, on a external screen or in the plenary itself, around 600 leaders from various original nations from across the country were mobilized in Brasília. As in several municipalities in the country, indigenous people carried out marches and public events, camping at the Memorial dos Povos Indígenas, which is considered by them to be a territory of the tribes within the federal capital”

However, even if the law is not going to be executed, the class character of the Brazilian State is express through the compensation proposal to the big landlords. AND writes: “Despite the rejection, the original nations will continue to struggle for the demarcation of their lands. This is because the disapproval of the ‘temporal framework’ thesis came alongside the proposal, defended both by STF ministers and by the government in favor of the big landlords, to compensate the big landlords in the land demarcation process.

This compensation process, whatever form it takes, poses serious risks of completely paralyzing the demarcation of new indigenous lands, whether due to the delay in the bureaucratic processes of the old Brazilian State, or due to the allegation of ‘lack of funds’ to pay compensation to the big landlords, as is already the case in the paralyzed ‘agrarian reform’.”

On top of that, President Luiz Inácio da Silva signed a mega-project-deal during the Amazon summit, in which the presidents of the States which contain the Amazon rain-forest and representatives of other States met in order to discuss measures to preserve it, to protect the environment and the climate. This summit itself is a hypocritical drama, in which, besides Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Suriname, and Guiana, also Germany, France, Congo, Norway and Indonesia participated. One of the measures that were discussed on the summit, was to “respect and protect” the rights of the indigenous people that live there, because they are considered the “guardian of the forest”, and this should serve the preservation of the forest. But in the end these were empty words, because the summit ended without any resolutions or concrete plans.

The FRG played a particularly hypocritical double game at this summit. On one hand it is shouting out loud for fast actions in order to protect the environment and climate, but meanwhile German imperialism is also investing in the deeper exploitation of the Amazonia area. During last years, the Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and the DZB have invested more then 54 billion dollars in monopolist mining companies in the Amazon. These companies are part of the expulsion of the poor peasants, indigenous people and clearing of primeval forests.

In response to the law, the indigenous population has reinforced its resistance, for months they have been fighting against the law in different states and further develop the struggle for land. At the same time, the repression of the old Brazilian State and mercenary gangs of big landlords increases. Especially during the hypocritical conference, the reaction did not take a break. There are a lot of reports on attacks on the indigenous people that occurred right now during the conference.

The immediate perspective is obvious, the agony of the Brazilian State is rising with its decomposition due to the deep crisis of bureaucratic capitalism. And how the Ruling Classes always do, they shove the weight of every crisis on the backs of the deepest and broadest masses. And to preserve their profit from stagnation and in order to feed their limitless greed, they will grasp for more land and will increase further their exploitation. The campaign of the law “Marco Temporal” is nothing more than a prelude to another genocide campaign against the indigenous people and the poor peasants.

iCoronelism is the specific expression of what is Gamonalism in Peru. “Junkers have similar things with the ‘northest colones’ in Brazil and with the ‘gamonales’ of Perú. When the great Lenin referred to the “Prussian way” of the capitalist development, he refers to the way in which the junkers advanced towards agricultural capitalist production, gradually and maintaining semi-feudal relations of productions. In the decades from 1850 and 1890, the junkers became the hegemonic ruling class in the old Prussian State.” 14th of July, 2023, Nucleus of MLM – Friedrich Engels: The Foundation of Communism, the Systematisation of Marxism and the Democratic Revolution

“The term gamonalismo designates more than just a social and economic category: that of the latifundistas or big landlords. It signifies a whole phenomenon. Gamonalismo is represented not only by the gamonales but by a long hierarchy of officials, intermediaries, agents, parasites, etc. The literate Indian who enters the service of gamonalismo turns into an exploiter of his own race. The central factor of the phenomenon is the hegemony of the semi-feudal landed estate in the policy and mechanism of the government.” J.C Mariategui, Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality.

„as Mariátegui says, gamonalismo does not only designate a social and economic category but an entire phenomenon represented not only by the gamonales, but which also encompasses a large hierarchy of officials, intermediaries, agents, parasites, etc., and that the central factor of this phenomenon is the hegemony of big semi-feudal property in politics and in the mechanism of the State, which should be attacked at its root.“ (General Political Line of the Communist Party of Peru, Line of Democratic Revolution)

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