The following is an unofficial translation of an article released by the National Commission of the League of Poor Peasants (LCP) regarding the ongoing criminalization of the peasants’ struggle for land and the arbitrary arrest of of those involved in peasant encampments, even outside of Tiago dos Santos, for the killing of two Military Police earlier this month.
Peasant Charles Aguimar was arrested in Vale do Paraíso, after reporting to the police when he learned that he was being accused of having participated in the death of the police in the district of Nova Mutum-Paraná. The Civil Police and the Rondônia Military Police are accusing any peasant who has lived in an encampment or been stopped in a police raid, even though the raid occurred several years ago. Charles has been living in Vale do Paraíso for several years with his family, works as a mason and learned that his photo was being released in the press as a fugitive. He contacted the police to find out why, since he has lived in Vale do Paraíso for several years, which is approximately 500 km away from Nova Mutum-Paraná. Even so, Charles was arrested and held.
Peasant Rogério (monkey), son of Dona Bia and the late comrade Adalto (also known as “Fever of the rat”), was also arrested. Rogério had never lived in the camp, he was arrested just because he had lived in other camps, years ago, in Élcio Machado.
Among the defendants there are people who either have not lived in Rondônia for many years or are already deceased. There is even a PDF pamphlet circulating that the police are sharing among themselves, in which they accuse, in addition to the cases mentioned, even people who were murdered in 2016.
Proceedings are underway against peasants who are a true legal aberration in violation of elementary rights. From the eviction, without listening to the parties and without giving the appropriate period for the accused peasants to appeal, to the illegality of arrest warrants based on guesswork, such as the absurdities reported of prosecuting people who had died years ago.
What is clear is that the Rondônia Military Police are taking advantage of the situation to persecute and criminalize peasants and the right to fight for land.
But however much they persecute the LCP and the peasants, the struggle will not cease. Persecution, imprisonment, murders, and massacres cannot kill the people’s hunger. Only by attending to the people’s longing for land to work and live on, as well as the end of the latifundium (large landlords), will it be possible to put an end to conflicts and violence in the countryside. All state apparatuses of repression placed at the service of landowners, thieves of public lands such as Sebastião Martins “Old Rooster,” notorious criminal convicted and imprisoned for forgery of land ownership documents and purchase of a judgement that considered a farm that had only bushes and weeds, will only lead to more hunger, more unemployment, more injustice, and more revolt among peasants.
However, the peasants continue their struggle in the midst of enormous difficulties, but this struggle is what they have had for centuries. And more than ever, it is the only way to conquer their sacred right to land. It is the only solution given the fact that cities can no longer hold people and create miserable lives for tens of millions.
These acts of the Old Brazilian State of landowners and great bourgeois servants of imperialism, mainly Yankee (United States), and not only in the attacks of the current military government and Bolsonaro on their own institutions, are fascist threats and a complete demonstration that this old democracy only serves the wealthy, oppresses the people, and legitimizes this rotten system of exploitation of workers, small and medium-sized owners, honest intellectuals, and artists committed to national and popular culture. It is a system of subjugating the nation to foreign imperialist interests.
Down with the demonization and criminalization of the peasants’ struggle for land!
Land to those who work on it!
Enough of repression and massacres!
Conquer the land, destroy the latifundium!
Long live the agrarian revolution, death to the landowners!
Long live the peasants fighting for land and the League of Poor Peasants!
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