Stedile letter to supporters

Louis Proyect 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

Dear Friends,

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 
1985.

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 
federal Government.

Now, Land Reform has the support of the society, church, rural workers 
through all its official bodies, some state governments, and the Federal 
Government.

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

full: http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=48&ItemID=4003


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