Brazil: Peasant families reject repression and retake land 2 days after repossession at the Mãe Bernadete Camp

We publish an unofficial translation of the press release by the Mãe Bernadete Camp, published here.

Press release

Mãe Bernadete Camp – Bahia

Peasants return to their lands immediately after cowardly eviction

On October 27th, during the morning, a large and extremely expensive police operation was carried out (in proportion to the region) to evict peasant families from Camp Mãe Bernadete, in Carinhanha, in the southwest of Bahia.

There were 13 police vehicles from Guanambi and Carinhanha, illegally and shamefully accompanied by goons paid by the Calsete mining company.

Serene, convinced and organized, the peasant families put up combative resistance. Troops, bailiffs, all the paraphernalia of the “Democratic State of Law” (including gun shooting) outside the Camp, to the families inside. United, the families with their scythes and work tools in hand, sang songs of the struggle (The LCP Hymn “Conquer the Earth”, “The stick hits back the axe” [Note by translator – “O risco que corre o pau corre o machado”, Brazilian saying], and other songs and slogans). Face to face, two powers. Let us have no doubt: the peasants frustrated and defeated the objective of the big landlords, proclaimed almost daily in the press, at the service of the region’s powerful: to drive the peasants away under aggression, cowardice and humiliation.

There were around 4 hours of clashes. The masses, haughty. And the police officers and goons, known to live in the same city as the peasants when were identified, they were unmasked, scolded and accused of being in the service of the latifundium, of the old State, for making money at the expense of the injustice and misery of others. There it was already clear who was right, who were the “good guys” and who were the “bad guys”.

Once this stage of resistance was completed, the families withdrew in an organized manner. And the scoundrel drove the tractor over the camp.

The families had already taken over another part of Fazenda Lagoa dos Portácios for the first time on January 25th of the current year, suffering eviction on March 31st. In a great demonstration of persistence, these lands were retaken on August 19th with the support of the LCP – Liga dos Camponeses Pobres. (see AND August 30 “Peasant families retake land with support from LCP”), and since then, peasants have increased their organization, with regular holding of People’s Assemblies and collective production, strengthening unity around resisting attacks from the latifundium and conquering land to live and work on it.

During these more than 2 months, the families carried out several demonstrations and complaints against Calsete and its manager Lineu Fernandes, who set up a camp of goons on the farm, where there was not even a headquarters, fence or any type of construction: abandoned for more than 20 years.

“Lost”, Calsete and Lineu!

The farm manager had tried to intimidate and threaten families and supporters in an interview with Pontal radio in August. He said that the “landless” would be removed from the land at any cost. In fact, this bully speech demonstrated his fear of the organization and combativeness of the poor peasants organized under the banner of the glorious LCP.

In fact, the latifundium has had a high cost in these eviction operations. The costs of the operation and sending troops exceed one million. But they will pay much more for stealing the peasants’ land, destroying the entire natural environment and imposing death and illness on dozens of workers in the Calsete coal mines, as well as leading to the impoverishment of hundreds of families who live in the communities surrounded by the farm without being able to produce on the land, theirs by right.

On September 9th, the peasant families repelled a police car from Carinhanha, which invaded the camp with a goon (known as Marquinho da Barrinha) hiding in the cab of the truck. The person in charge and who appears in the videos was the military police officer, recognized by the families as the cousin of the Calsete lawyer, Dr. Wallisson Viana Silva, who, without any qualms, went on a radio program to threaten that all camped families would have their social benefit cut, as well as fishing insurance (between the São Francisco and Carinhanha rivers, almost 10% of the population are fishermen).

The eviction was the result of compliance with the false possession repossession order given by local judge Arthur Antunes Amaro Neves, even after repeated allegations and proof that these lands were grabbed by the latifundium and that the possession belongs to the peasants of 5 communities who live and work there for more than decades were demonstrated.

After the cowardly and unfair eviction of the peasant families on the 27th, a band of goons armed with large-caliber weapons began to occupy the place where the camp was located. The evicted families crossed the property lines and organized to return.

This land is ours!

It was proven, once again, that the struggle for land will never stop as long as latifundiums exist, and that ownership, indeed, belonged to the peasants. Demoralized by the events, police and goons left, and the peasants, last Sunday, October 29th, took back their lands!

Once again, they honored the name of Mãe Bernadete, whom they honored in the second stage of the fight, not letting the quilombola leader’s name drop during the warm-up.

Once again they honored the flags of Palestine, which are in the Camp, whose heroic resistance, in the fight for their sacred right to the lands that are historically theirs, advances, haunting imperialists and Zionists, the USA and Israel, who commit crimes against humanity and lie second after second to hide their failure!

The peasants are on the land. Viva!

Soon we will bring more information.






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