José Rainha and Luciano de Lima, leaders of the National Fight Front Campo e Cidade (FNL), were arrested by the Civil Police, this Saturday (04), in Mirante do Paranapanema, in the interior of São Paulo. They are accused of extorting rural landowners in the region.
According to the police, the two leaders were in charge of the extortion of at least six owners and demanded financial advantages.
“Preventive arrests are aimed at interrupting the criminal cycle and promoting general prevention and peace in the countryside,” says the note from the São Paulo Police.
The movement, on the other hand, says that the arrest has a political nature and is a retaliation for the Red Carnival activities, led by the FNL and which, in February, promoted the occupation of several areas in the Pontal do Paranapanema region.
“This political arrest has a clear relationship with the occupation day of the Red Carnival, being an act of retaliation against the landless people’s fighters. The FNL has gained strength in recent years by holding fight days at carnival. It did not take long for retaliation against leader José Rainha, who since 1977 has done nothing but fight for land for and with the poorest”, says a statement from the FNL.
:: From land grabbing to agrarian reform: Pontal do Paranapanema (SP) tells the story of Brazil ::
The Civil Police of São Paulo, in turn, says that the arrest has nothing to do with the occupations carried out during the Carnival period.
“It is important to point out that they are not to be confused with the acts resulting from the 2023 Carnival, when a group invaded nine rural properties, but rather aim to investigate the cycle of violence resulting from extortion and firearm shots”, says an excerpt from the police note.
to the portal G1the defense informed that it will file an appeal and work for the freedom of the leaders.
“The defense proposed the revocation of both arrests, since the lawyers have not yet obtained access to the investigation records; in addition to the fact that the two accused were never summoned to testify within the scope of the ongoing police investigation, they do not deal with recidivist citizens and do not belong to a criminal organization.”
For the FNL, the arrest of the leaders is related to the strength of agribusiness in the region and may represent a kind of retaliation against the movement.
“José Rainha has the right to respond to any accusation that he may be, in freedom, there is no basis for a prison like this other than the political anger of the agro, which does not tolerate his misdemeanors being revealed”, argues the movement.
The Carnaval Vermelho movement, organized by the Frente Nacional de Luta Campo e Cidade, aims to make Brazilian society aware of the importance of agrarian reform. One of the action fronts is the occupation of land.
“The objective of the Red Carnival is to bring to the discussion the contradiction of being one of the countries that produces the most food in the world, but we have more than 125 million Brazilians with some food insecurity. The FNL has been bluntly denouncing this contradiction, there are thousands of homeless and landless going to live in occupations promoted by the FNL, whether in the countryside or in the city”, says an excerpt from the entity’s statement.
On February 18, three occupations of the movement were attacked by gunfire. According to the FLN, the camps were surrounded by jagunços, threatening the families of the occupations with firearms.
:: ‘Carnaval Vermelho’ occupations are attacked in the interior of São Paulo ::
Editing: Vivian Virissimo
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