Next Tuesday (15th), the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) that investigates the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) will receive João Pedro Stedile, founder and national leader of the Movement, who will give testimony, as summoned, to federal deputies who are part of the collegiate.
In an interview with Brasil de Fato, Stedile stated that he is going to the CPI “without any worries”. “I will only speak what I know, I am calm and serene to defend the interests of agrarian reform and the Brazilian people.”
Stédile’s testimony should be the culmination of the commission, which had its first session on May 23 of this year. Three months later, the CPI, made up mostly of far-right parliamentarians, tries to draw the attention of public opinion, concentrated on the federal government’s agenda, to another CPI, the one that investigates the coup acts of January 8 of this year and the investigations into cases of corruption involving people linked to former President Jair Bolsonaro (PL).
:: MST CPI diligence goes to camp outside the planned route and prevents press from accompanying ::
Last Tuesday (8), the governing base negotiated exchanges of members of the CPI of the MST with Centrão parties. Since then, the government may have managed to form a majority in the commission, which will undermine the strategy of the president and the commission’s rapporteur, federal deputies Zucco (Republicanos-RS) and Ricardo Salles (PL-SP), respectively, faithful opponents of the MST .
The exchanges involve the parties União Brasil, MDB, PP and Republicans. The last two can compose the first echelon of the government, gaining ministries, in an eventual ministerial mini-reform, which could take place until the beginning of September.
Stedile says he was disappointed with the commission’s work. “I expected the CPI to be a forum for debating our country’s agrarian problems. Even if the composition of the commission included, as is natural, an extreme right-wing group, which obviously has a different look at the Brazilian agrarian question from the left, we hoped that the deputies would be honest, that they would signal the problems that Brazilian society there are in rural areas.”
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Check the interview in full:
What do you expect from the testimony at the CPI?
I’m going without any worries, I’ll just say what I know, I’m calm and serene to defend the interests of agrarian reform and the Brazilian people. I’m very proud of that, we’ve been defending the people’s interest for forty years. We have nothing to lose.
The MST is a legitimate movement, which has always acted within the rules of the constitution and, more than legitimate, it is a necessary popular movement, because in the history of humanity there has never been agrarian reform without social pressure from the organized landless, this has happened all over the world. planet and it is the role of the MST to organize workers to fight for the land. As our dear Dom Pedro Casaldáliga said, ‘it’s a good thing the MST exists, because if it didn’t exist, we’d have to reinvent it’.
In Brasilia, there is a bet that parliamentarians from the far-right bloc should invest in a long statement, to tire him out, with offensive speech. Are you ready?
It is important for society to realize that it is not by chance that in the 40 years of our existence, we have faced three CPIs against the MST precisely during the Lula governments. Why didn’t they do this in the governments of FHC or even Bolsonaro? Because they use these parliamentary instruments to try to prevent agrarian reform from acquiring the importance it has in progressive governments.
We are calm, because they keep investigating and can’t find anything. This CPI exists to frighten public agents, who are frightened by the existence of the CPI, with the possibility of being investigated, because in the simple fact of being summoned, they already panic. People have their trajectories and, not necessarily, they are prepared for this public execution when they go there.
These people are subjected to all kinds of humiliation, because the deputy becomes an inquisitor and can use all prerogatives to intimidate, threaten and offend, as we have seen in these three months. People who go there have to be very cold-blooded, because some extreme right-wing deputies abuse, fail to have civilizing postures and offend, to see if people react in a timely manner and, with that, they can take some other measure that harms the deponent even more. I’m prepared, five or seven hours is normal for us, our training courses last days, some last weeks, some courses last a month. It won’t be a problem.
What analysis do you make of the CPI so far?
I hoped that the CPI would be a forum for debating our country’s agrarian problems. Even if the composition of the commission included, as is natural, an extreme right-wing group, which obviously has a different perspective on the Brazilian agrarian question than the left, we hoped that the deputies would be honest, that they would signal the problems that Brazilian society have in rural areas. Who is responsible for these problems? What are the solutions?
The MST is part of the agrarian reality, we can criticize it or support it, but it exists, it is part of that agrarian reality and it proposes to face problems in the countryside and we present solutions, such as the proposal of popular agrarian reform, in which the sem -land has access to the land, giving it a new social function, in which workers can produce food for the people, therefore a popular agrarian reform and no longer peasant, which serves only those who work the land.
In these three months, we haven’t heard anything like that, because the far-right caucus, which doesn’t even represent the interests of the ruralist caucus, turned the CPI into a circus, with all kinds of mischief, to put aggression on their social networks, which didn’t stick not even the extreme right bubble. We were positively surprised that the bourgeois press, or corporate press, behaved with honesty and denounced this Manichaeism and manipulation that right-wing deputies did.
:: Newspapers reinforce the idea that fighting for rights is a crime by reporting José Rainha’s visit to the MST CPI ::
Editing: Monyse Ravena