Brazil: Long Live the Resistance of the Peasants of Camp Manoel Ribeiro!

The following is an unofficial translation from the National Commission of the League of Poor Peasants (LCP) regarding the victorious resistance that has been occurring at Camp Manoel Ribeiro.


Given the pressures of the land thieving landowners of the Union, since the end of March the governor of Rondônia, military police Colonel Marcos Rocha, has been preparing a new massacre of peasants in the same region and in the same lands where the episodes known as the “Corumbiara massacre” occurred, in August 1995.

Since then, he has spent rivers of money to mobilize a true war apparatus against the peasant families of the Manoel Ribeiro camp, who since August 2020 have taken over the Nossa Senhora Aparecida farm, the last part of the old Santa Elina farm, in the municipality of Chupinguaia, close to the municipality of Corumbiara.

In addition to the presence of members of the Military Police’s own high command in the latifundio Nossa Senhora Aparecida, who is commanding this entire war operation against the peasants, who cynically call it “peace in the countryside,” is none other than the butcher of Santa Elina, military police Colonel José Hélio Cysneiros Pachá, who in 1995 was one of the military police officers who commanded the murders and tortures against peasants on the Santa Elina farm and today remains unpunished as the secretary of security in the government of the likewise military police governor Marcos Rocha.

Since the end of March, this war operation against peasants has committed all sorts of crimes and illegalities. The families of the Manoel Ribeiro camp are being kept under siege by police apparatus. Roads in the region are under siege, and residents who pass are approached, subjected to humiliating searches, interrogations, intimidation and threats. In these approaches, they even illegally demand the password on their phones, violating people’s privacy. Due to the criminal operation against the peasants, the government suspended the public health service, and even the absurdity of the suspension of vaccination against the corona virus in the region, at the most serious moment of the pandemic. In addition to the problems caused to residents of the region by the presence of such a war operation, the police themselves do not hesitate to cause damage to the population, as reported in the case in which, to invade Manoel Ribeiro camp, police unlawfully and without ceremony cut down the fence and then invaded the property of a neighboring peasant.

In addition to maintaining the encirclement of the camp, daily, throughout the day, evening and even during the night, the police have been harassing the families, with the objective of carrying out psychological torture and maintaining family tension. For this purpose it has been used to detonate bombs of moral effect, tear gas, pepper, and fireworks, as well as firing rubber bullets. In addition to making helicopter flights over the camp. What is more serious, they have already made several attacks against the camp trying to invade and evict the families. They arrested two peasants, who after being surrendered were beaten for names that could be accused of leaders of the camp. In all these attacks, the police were forced to retreat in the face of the ferocious resistance of Manoel Ribeiro’s peasants. During these attacks, armed to the teeth, the police shouted that they are going to do “another massacre,” that they are going to “really kill,” and even shoot real ammunition towards families that opposed resistance. But instead of being intimidated, the peasants redoubled their fury in the face of injustice and cowardice and repelled all attacks with sticks and stones. In one of his stampedes, a policeman dropped a magazine from his pistol.

The resistance of the peasants of the Manoel Ribeiro camp leaves no doubt that his decision and proclamation that “The blood spilled in Santa Elina flows in our veins!” “The lands of Santa Elina are drenched in peasant blood! We will not leave here!” and “Even if the thing thickens, this land is ours!

Banner placed by the peasants of the Manoel Ribeiro camp. 
Photo: Peasant Resistance Newspaper

All the attacks by the government and its murderous military police against the camp, were already occurring even before the current repossession took place. In fact, the existence of such reintegration is just a detail, like the disclosure of the meeting of the government butchers, where the governor of Rondônia cries out that he has to evict and arrest the families at any cost, makes this very clear. The objective has already been defined, the situation of the latifundio has to be kept untouched, the families have to be removed from the area taken and their leaders arrested, no matter whether or not this has legal coverage, as this, as always, “settles later,” they are already accustomed of tearing up their own laws when it means serving the interests of landowners and going against the rights of peasants. As reported, the actual repossession in force and of which there was not even a summons from the parties with a bailiff and other mandatory legal procedures, it was granted after the camp was already under siege by the police. Even in the judicial order itself, with an indication of the deadline for it to be fulfilled, that the land be given a chance to be vacated peacefully, concern about the pandemic situation, etc., none of this has been considered, as already exposed by the police, is concerned with complying with the law or the order of a judge. The judicial measure is just a device to enact legality to the criminal objective already established and put into practice by the governor, harassed by the landowners thieves of the Union. That is why the butcher himself of Santa Elina, secretary of security José Hélio Cysneiros Pachá gave statements that he intends to comply with the reintegration before the deadline stipulated by the judge. Rondônia’s public defender’s office questioned such a decision, as arbitrary, illegal and blatant, with the judiciary.

But complying with the laws, really doing justice is just rhetoric in the mouth of these people who have blood on their hands, who are willing to commit all sorts of crimes against the people in the interests of a handful of criminal landowners.

On the question of the latifundio, and that the governor has moved a war apparatus to defend, is the same one that owes blood to the people, for the crimes committed in 1995 and that recently was the target of search and seizure of weapons, ammunition and other apparatuses, and several gunmen, including policemen doing pistol work, who came from a corral and the farm’s retreat, attempting to attack the lives of the encamped families, were arrested. Little is said about this subject, but for the avoidance of doubt let us see what the Public Prosecutor’s Office says about these people, based on intelligence information from the police itself and which with ample evidence motivated the arrest of these criminals on charges of possession, illegal firearm and firearm firing, illegal constraint, threat, criminal association, administrative impropriety and military transgressions. Here is what the Public Ministry said:

“In intense investigative efforts, (…) received (…) secure information, both from military police officers and residents of the locality, reporting 04 (four) Military Police officers, stationed in the Chupinguaia / RO Group, would carry out the activity criminal of “gunmen” at Fazenda Nossa Senhora Aparecida, which was successfully investigated as to the criminal scheme, which is explained below.

There was all evidence that one of the farm’s owning partners, ANTÔNIO BORGES AFONSO, aka “Toninho Miséria,” hired the Military Police, 3rd SGT PM RE 100076406 EMERSON PEREIRA DE ARRUDA to guarantee the security of the property, as well as recruit other people, including military and civil police, to carry out such activity, as well as coordinate the work to be carried out by the group, being responsible for logistics and also for the delivery of payments.

Once hired, SGT PM ARRUDA recruited Military Police officers CB PM RE 100092898 WAGNER FERREIRA DE SOUZA, CB PM RE 100095031 HELSON DOS SANTOS SOUZA and SD PM RE 100096048 JANDER NASCIMENTO DE OLIVEIRA, hiring them for the criminal association and so, he passed to head the scheme, leaving it clear that all logistics, organization of calls and payments were made by him. It was also raised that the daily rate paid to each of the Military Police was in the amount of R$900.00 (nine hundred reais).

In addition to the Military Police, to join the criminal association, SGT PM ARRUDA hired civilians, EDUARDO DO CARMO MARTIM, a resident of the Municipality of Chupinguaia / RO, known for his involvement in the illegal sale of firearms and ammunition and ANTÔNIO MARCOS PIRES , resident of the municipality of Vilhena / RO, who is a frequenter of the shooting range, therefore having the ability to shoot, although it is certain that there is information that he commonly fires firearms in his farm, which is located in this city of Vilhena. In addition, there is an image of him inside the farm’s corral, carrying a large-caliber weapon.”

Police officers at the headquarters of Fazenda Nossa Senhora Aparecida 

Photo: Peasant Resistance Newspaper
The left commander of the pm, in the center the butcher of Santa Elina, Colonel Hélio Pachá, current security secretary of the government Marcos Rocha and the right Colonel Plínio always present in operations against peasants 

Photo: Peasant Resistance Newspaper
Chief of the gunmen, policeman EMERSON PEREIRA DE ARRUDA. 
Photo: Peasant Resistance Newspaper
Photo: Peasant Resistance Newspaper
Cartridges burned by gunmen in an attempt to conceal evidence. 
Photo: Peasant Resistance Newspaper

This is only a small part of the crimes of the landowners, land thieves in the Union, who keep armed gangs, mostly composed of police officers.

This is the latifundio land thief of the Union, bandit, murderer of peasants and indigenous people that the government of Marcos Rocha defends with its police. In fact, in practice, what the government is doing with its war operation against the peasants is to replace its colleagues in uniform, these already proven gunmen, with the official apparatus of the old state, but who, like armed gangs of gunmen, are faithful defenders of the interests of the latifundio in Rondônia.

May the true and honest democrats rise up against the attacks on the Manoel Ribeiro camp!

Long live the resistance of the peasants of the Manoel Ribeiro camp!

Down with the criminalization of the struggle for land!

Defend land ownership by peasants in the Manoel Ribeiro area!

The lands of ancient Santa Elina belong to the people!

All support to peasants in the Manoel Ribeiro area!

Conquer the land, destroy the latifundium!

Land for those who work on it!

Long Live the Agrarian Revolution, death to the landowners!

National Peasants League Commission

LCP – League of Poor Peasants of Rondônia and Western Amazon

April 4, 2021


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