The story of Cícero Guedes, rural farmer and former leader of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) in Campos dos Goytacazes in the north of Rio de Janeiro, will become a film. Ten years after the militant’s murder, Quiprocó Filmes, in partnership with the MST-RJ, announced the production of the documentary “Brava Gente”.
The film will address, through testimonials and archival footage, the struggle of rural workers to conquer land, defend education and the public university, in addition to their legacy and pioneering spirit in the development of agroecological production techniques in the north of Rio de Janeiro. The documentary is directed and written by Fernando Sousa and Gabriel Barbosa.
Read more: Opinion | Memories that do not burn: from Fernando Santa Cruz to Cícero Guedes
Sousa was a personal friend of the agrarian leader and worked on different fronts with Cícero Guedes, between 2005 and 2010. He last met him in December 2012, shortly before his execution.
“Cícero Guedes had an enormous capacity for articulation and political mobilization. He was one of the main leaders of the MST in the State of Rio de Janeiro, influenced and was fundamental in the training of students at the undergraduate and graduate levels of UENF (Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro) and UFF (Universidade Federal Fluminense), in Campos dos Goytacazes. Particularly, I would highlight his contribution to the student movement in the fight for the public university and for the construction of the University Restaurant, the Bandejão da UENF, which today bears his name, “says the filmmaker.
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The state deputy for the state of Rio de Janeiro and national leader of the MST, Marina do MST (PT), says that a documentary about the leader is a way of keeping his legacy alive.
“This year marks the 10th anniversary of the murder of comrade Cícero Guedes. A documentary that rescues and registers Cícero’s legacy is very important, as it is the greatest reference for youth and for militancy, struggles, mystique and commitment to the MST project and Popular Agrarian Reform”, he says.
Who was Cicero Guedes?
The MST leader pioneered the creation of fairs for the distribution and sale of agrarian reform products, such as the Cícero Guedes State Fair for Agrarian Reform, named after the farmer after his assassination.
Born in the interior of Alagoas, as a child, Cícero was subjected to work analogous to slavery in sugar cane monocultures. Like thousands of other black and poor workers in the region, he decided to migrate to the Southeast and try to make a living with a wife and children. In Campos dos Goytacazes, he would return to work planting and harvesting sugarcane in the early 1990s.
The rural worker who arrived in Rio de Janeiro without formal literacy, ended up having contact with the agrarian reform occupation Zumbi dos Palmares, in the lands of the bankrupt Usina São João, whose expropriation and issue of ownership took place in 1997. reading of the world acquired in the struggle for land made Cícero Guedes one of the main political leaders of the Movement of Landless Rural Workers in the north of Rio de Janeiro.
In addition to agriculture, Cícero also worked as a laborer on the UENF works, where he would later contribute in a pioneering way to the development of research and agroecological techniques.
Read more: Innocent jury suspected of ordering the murder of Cícero Guedes in Campos (RJ)
Even with the conquest of the plot known as Brava Gente, Cícero continued to contribute effectively in the struggle for land in the region, founded the Popular Committee for Combating and Eradicating Slave Labor and participated in the student movement in defense of the public university.
The rural worker was brutally executed with shots to the head and back, on a rural road near the Oziel Alves Settlement, in Campos dos Goytacazes. In 2019, in a lightning trial, the main suspect for being the mastermind of the crime was acquitted by a jury composed mostly of students from the Faculdade de Direito de Campos by 4 to 2 votes. Death will be 10 years old on January 26, 2023.
Source: BdF Rio de Janeiro
Editing: Jacqueline Deister
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