The occupation of the Santa Monica farming collective entered its second day with more than 3,000 landless families already organized in shacks and small kitchens. The camp was named after Dom Tomás Balduíno, as a tribute to the bishop emeritus of Goiás who dedicated his life in the struggle for Agrarian Reform.
Just yesterday (August 31st), encamped families held a meeting, where they had the opportunity to denounce the expulsion from their lands so that they could be incorporated into the land governed by Senator Eunício Oliveira (PMDB-EC). "Why is a Senator from Ceará interested in accumulating more than 20 properties of numerous peasant families in the state of Goiás, totaling more than 20,000 hectares? Clearly the goal is solely for financial speculation in the area, which is located between Brasília and Goiânia, one of the fastest growing regions in the country," expressed the Movement.
For the Brazilian Rural Landless Workers Movement (MST), the only alternative is to allocate the area for land reform. "We present as a demand the expropriation of the entire complex and the settlement of families. For this, we have already started negotiations with the Federal and State Governments. This occupation is the opportunity of President Dilma to defend her land reform policies: settling families on good quality land, close to urban centers, to produce food for the population," he added.
Read the entire message from the occupation:
NOTE from the OCCUPATION OF SANTA MONICA - CORUMBÁ / GOIÃ
The occupation of Santa Monica (Corumba/GO), held for more than three thousand families of the MST, enters its second day of resistance. Despite pressure from gunmen and security guards on the farm, who tried several times to intimidate families with the exhibition of weapons and psychological pressure, the camp was reinforced both physically and organically. To celebrate the achievements of this Sunday, during the meeting, the occupation was named Camp Dom Tomás Balduíno, in honor of the Bishop of Goiás who always fought for agrarian reform.
Since the early hours of Sunday, the MST has received numerous expressions of national and international support from churches, unions and other social movements. Many families in the region gave testimonials about how they were expelled or pressured to leave their land so that it could be incorporated into the large estate of Senator Eunício Oliveira.
The senator said in a recent statement for the ERT to announce his candidacy for governor of Ceará, that all the land worth less than 5 million, which represents approximately £250.00 per hectare.
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Original article, originally published in Portuguese, here.
Credits: Images and data are linked to sources.