Stedile letter to supporters
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Aug 7 08:58:50 MDT 2003
MST Meeting with Lula
by Joao Pedro Stedile
August 06, 2003
Part I: Letter from Stedile to MST Supporters
MST Informes have been made available to you as a way of keeping you
informed about the agrarian situation in our country and about some facts
that we consider important to share. Like you, another 26 thousand comrades
and friends of the MST receive this bulletin.
Today we wish to send this special letter to let you know the contents of
the document that the national direction of the MST handed to the
Presidency of the republic. They are thoughts aiming at contributing with
the Federal Government for the urgent elaboration of a national Plan of
Agrarian reform, as determined by law.
The President has constructed his political trajectory defending Land
Reform. He has a historical friendship and alliance with the MST. He
received us with generosity and friendship, as is customary of a Statesman.
But also as a president elected by the MST and by the poorest people in our
country. And as part of our historical alliance, he once again put on the
MST cap. He must be tired of wearing our cap, one he has been wearing since
On the other hand, the MST, through its 20 years of existence, has been
received since 1984 by elected Presidents Tancredo Neves, José Sarney,
Itamar Franco and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, all of them in several legally
expelled President Fernando Collor.
So what is the reason for so much aversion of the bourgeois press, the
parliamentary right and the farmers?
They lost the elections, but thought that it was all a little game, that
they would carry on doing what they pleased to maintain their privileges,
as they are managing to do in other areas. And now, they realized Land
Reform is not only a historical pledge, but will be a priority of the
Now, Land Reform has the support of the society, church, rural workers
through all its official bodies, some state governments, and the Federal
On the side of the Land ownership there were only conservative congressmen
and governors who are landowners themselves. Worried landowners appealed to
three classical weapons:
a) Increase their influence in local judiciary, in which the ties with
economic power and landownership are historical.
b) Manipulation through the press in attempting to criminalize the MST and
corner the Federal Government. The landowners even managed to move the
Senate, calling a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) to investigate
the causes of the land occupations. In doing so, the Senate ignored CPI
petitions to investigate the corruption and privatization of SIVAM, Teles,
Banestado (all of which continue to be ignored).
c) Organization of militias and armed outlaw groups that provocate and
carry out all kinds of violent acts. They have even created the First Rural
Commando, using the same tricks of organized crime. They have publicly
shown their AR-15 guns on television. It is this type of terrorism that the
landowners have always used.
This is the situation. But we are certain that Brazilian society is aware
of land Reform. And that it will fulfill a fundamental role in this moment
of crises of the economic model, of the transition for a new economic
model, for a new agricultural model and for the generation of jobs and the
solution of hunger and poverty in the rural area.
João Pedro Stédile
Direção Nacional do MST
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