Brazil: Peasants Movement Fends Off Military Police, Reports Torture in Camps

The following is a short summary of the articles, “Great peasant resistance! Camp Manoel Ribeiro defeats PM eviction operation,” and “Military men torture peasants at Camp Tiago dos Santos,” published by Brazilian revolutionary newspaper A Nova Democracia.

On March 31, the military police and government of Rondônia attempted to evict peasants from Camp Manoel Ribeiro in operation “Peace in the Countryside.” Peasants faced off with the police, raising the red flag in resistance and successfully impeding the eviction. The eviction follows the suspension of healthcare services provided to peasants in the region.

“With masked faces and, under fire from their enemies, [peasants] chanted slogans, such as: “Even if the land thickens, this land is ours,” “One, two, three, four, five, thousand! The League advances all over Brazil,” and “For women to free themselves from all oppression, only with the proletarian struggle and revolution!”

The police were at Camp Manoel Ribeiro to destroy the peasants’ fields and crops with the principal goal of returning the land to Antônio Borges Afonso, the landowner. One child was injured during the confrontation.

At Camp Tiago dos Santos, the peasants movement reported that in February, Military police threatened and tortured peasants from in search for the leaders of the camp. One peasant women was hit, yelled at, and targeted for being a lesbian. Police officers threatened to cut her neck and sexually assault her if she didn’t answer the police officers’ demands.

“‘They said it was for me to speak, one was in one ear and the other in the other. One said one thing and when I said I didn’t know, the other one took it and said something else […] They put so much panic in my head, one on one side, the other on the other, the other poking behind, the front one talking nonsense. They asked me my name and I didn’t even know my name,’ said the peasant.”

Last year, more than 600 families living in Camp Tiago dos Santos resisted and fought back against tortures, a massacre attempt and evictions ordered by the large landowner Antônio Martins dos Santos. Days after the massacre attempt peasants returned and seized the land back raising the flag of the agrarian revolution against the latifundio.


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