Tue, Feb 18, 2014 - Page 9 News List

Landless workers reignite campaign in Brazil to mark 30th anniversary

After three decades of struggle, thousands of displaced farmers meet in the capital in a renewed effort for widespread agrarian reform

By Jonathan Watts  /  The Guardian, BRASILIA, Brazil

It was not until 2012 that the two police commanders who gave the orders during the Eldorado dos Carajas massacre were finally jailed.

However, the MST gained the land at the nearby Macaxeira camp, which has been renamed the 17 April Settlement. According to Gilberto “Nena” de Oliveira, a lead of the Para MST, it is now the biggest settlement in Brazil, with 3,000 families.

The violence has reduced, but there is still conflict in the area. Just 32km away at a camp in Curionopolis, de Oliveira said there was recently a month-long series of attacks designed to scare the settlers away.

“It failed. We called in other MST members so the camp numbers swelled from 200 to more than 1,000. That showed we would not go away,” he said.

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