Almost two thousand families have been camping for around 20 days in the municipality of Parauapebas, southeast of Pará, considered one of the most violent territories for field workers in the country. The Landless Workers Movement (MST) points out that the area is illegally occupied and demands that the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra) inspect the land and register the families for the purposes of agrarian reform.
The occupation took place on the 20th. The families taking part in the action point out that the Santa Maria and Três Marias farms are unproductive large estates resulting from land grabbing by the Miranda Family, known for its extensive land holdings in the region and involvement in agrarian conflicts.
“On the 20th, more than 2 thousand families occupied a large estate in protest, questioning the fact that the property belonged to the Miranda family, which has been colonizing Pará and the Amazon for 50 years, with a history of involvement in agrarian conflicts, in repression against workers and subjecting workers to precarious situations”, explains Pablo Neri, who makes up the national leadership of the MST.
Still on the day of occupation, the families were surprised by an eviction attempt. The action took place without a court order and with the siege of more than 30 trucks belonging to farmers in the region, identified as members of the “Zero Invasion” movement.
Since then, the families have remained camped near the town, in the Palmares 2 Settlement.
“The act of occupation on the 20th resulted in a meeting with Incra, from the Marabá region. The workers filed their agenda and are now waiting for Incra to begin the registration process for the more than a thousand families that are still camped in Parauapebas, at Acampamento Terra e Liberdade”, adds Neri.
After the meeting in Marabá, representatives of the families continued the dialogue in defense of the advancement of agrarian reform and were also received by the president of Incra, César Aldrighi, in Brasília (DF), to whom they requested agility in resolving the demands.
“And now the Terra e Liberdade Camp has as its agenda the immediate inspection of the Miranda family’s properties, the registration of families so that they are targets of the Lula government’s agrarian reform policy and its agenda is social transformation, based on agrarian reform, as an act in pursuit of social justice”.
Popular lawyer and member of the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), José Batista Gonçalves, follows the situation at Camp Terra e Liberdade and highlights the historic violations of rights in the countryside in the state of Pará.
“The southern and southeastern regions of Pará are well known for serious human rights violations in the countryside. According to monitoring carried out by Pastoral da Terra, these are regions where the highest number of murders in the countryside, massacres, massacres, cases of work slavery and murder of peasants”, explains Batista.
Data published in October by the CPT even points out that the Amazon region has become the “epicenter of violence” and the state of Pará is the second most violent in the country, as Batista denounces.
Read more: Violence in the countryside was concentrated in the Amazon and indigenous people are those who died most, says CPT
“The causes that generate this violence are associated with the development model imposed on this region, mainly after the military coup of 64, where priority was given to the expansion of extensive livestock farming, illegal logging and mining”, he explains.
Families continue to interact at the camp through training and organizational meetings. The CPT also reinforces the role of the MST in the region, pointing to agrarian reform as a way to guarantee a dignified life for families in the countryside.
“One of the alternatives for these families is to organize themselves and fight for access to land, and as a result, every year numerous rural and urban occupations occur, and the MST has had a very important task of welcoming and organizing these families, in sense of demanding that Incra carry out agrarian reform and distribute land so that these families can live and produce”, concludes Batista.
In a statement, the Miranda Family states that the area belongs to the group’s farm complex, which is fully legalized and has a registration number. Incra committed to carrying out an inspection of the areas, in order to investigate possible irregularities highlighted by the MST, in addition to registering the families that remain camped, so that they can be included in the national agrarian reform program.
Editing: Thalita Pires