This Tuesday the 15th, the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) investigating the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST)
will receive João Pedro Stedile, the founder and national leader of the Movement, who will testify, in his capacity as summoned, to the federal deputies that are part of the collegiate.
In an interview with Brasil de Fato, Stedile stated that he is going to the ICC “without worries.” “I will only say what I know, I am calm and serene to defend the interests of agrarian reform and the Brazilian people.”
Stedile’s declaration will be the culmination of the Commission, which held its first session on May 23 of this year. Three months later, the ICC, made up mostly of far-right parliamentarians, tries to draw the attention of public opinion, which is focused on the federal government’s agenda, to the ICC that is investigating the coup acts of January 8 of this year. and in investigations of corruption cases involving people linked to former President Jair Bolsonaro (Liberal Party).
Last Tuesday the 8th, the pro-government base negotiated exchanges of members of the MST CPI with Centrão parties, a group that brings together parliamentarians from the liberal and physiological right. Since then, the government may have managed to form a majority in the Commission, which will undermine the strategy of its president and its rapporteur, federal representatives Zucco (Republicans – Rio Grande do Sul) and Ricardo Salles (Liberal Party – São Paulo), both faithful opponents of the MST.
The exchanges cover the União Brasil, Brazilian Democratic Movement, Progressive Party and Republican Party parties. The last two will be able to compose the first echelon of government, winning ministries, in an eventual mini-ministerial reform, which could take place until early September.
Stedile stated that he is disappointed with the work of the Commission. “I hoped that the ICC would be a forum to debate the agrarian problems of our country. Even if the composition of the Commission had, of course, a group of the extreme right, which obviously has a different perspective on the Brazilian agrarian question than that of left, we expected the deputies to be honest, to point out the problems that Brazilian society has in rural areas.”
Read the full interview:
What do you expect from your statement at the ICC?
I go without worries, I will only say what I know, I am calm and serene to defend the interests of agrarian reform and the Brazilian people. For me it is a great pride, we have been defending the interests of the people for 40 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 an agrarian reform without the social pressure of the ( peasants) without organized land, this has happened all over the planet and it is the role of the MST to organize the workers to fight for the land. As our dear Don Pedro Casaldáliga used to say, ‘thank goodness that the MST exists, because if it did not exist, it would have to be reinvented’.
In Brasilia, some are betting that the parliamentarians from the far-right bloc will try to give him a long interview, to tire him out, with an offensive speech. He’s prepared?
It is important for society to be aware that it is not by chance that in the 40 years of our existence we have faced three CPIs against the MST precisely in the Lula governments. Why didn’t they do this during the governments of FHC (Fernando Henrique Cardoso) or even Bolsonaro? Because they use these parliamentary instruments to try to prevent agrarian reform from acquiring the importance it deserves during progressive governments.
We are calm, because they continue to investigate and find nothing. This ICC exists to intimidate public agents, who are frightened by the existence of the ICC, with the possibility of being investigated, because in the simple fact of being summoned they already panic. People have their trajectories and are not necessarily 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 the prerogatives to intimidate, threaten and offend, as we have seen in these three months. Those who go there have to be very cold-blooded, because some far-right deputies abuse, stop being civilized and offend, to see if people react in an intemperate way and, with that, they can take some other measure that further harms the deponent. I am prepared, five or seven hours is normal for us, our training courses last days, some last weeks, some courses last a month. It will not be a problem.
What is your analysis of the ICC so far?
I hoped that the ICC would be a forum to discuss the agrarian problems of our country. Even if the Commission’s composition included, of course, a group of the extreme right, which obviously has a different perspective on the Brazilian agrarian question than the left, we expected the deputies to be honest, to point out the problems that society Brazilian has in rural areas. Who are responsible for these problems? What are the solutions?
The MST is part of the agrarian reality, we can criticize or support it, but it exists, it is part of that agrarian reality and it proposes to face the problems of the countryside and present solutions, such as the popular agrarian reform proposal, in which the (peasants) without land have access to land, giving it a new social function, and that workers can produce food for the population, that is, a popular agrarian reform and no longer peasant, which only serves those who work the land.
In these three months we have not heard anything like that, because the extreme right bench, which does not even represent the interests of the ruralist bench, turned the ICC into a circus, with all kinds of mischief, to publish attacks on their social networks. , which did not even break the bubble of the extreme right. We were positively surprised that the bourgeois press, or corporate press, has behaved honestly and has denounced this Manichaeism and manipulation carried out by right-wing deputies.
Editing: Nadini Lopes and Monyse Ravena