By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
April 25, 2017
We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), condemn in the strongest terms the massacre of peasants in Taquarucu do Norte, Colniza City in the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil on April 20, 2017. Paramilitary groups employed by landlords and land-grabbers attacked the village of Taquarucu do Norte on the morning of April 10 and strafed the houses of peasants, including women, children and the elderly, resulting in the killing of at least ten and the wounding and disappearance of many others.
The peasants of Taquarucu do Norte have been subjected to all kinds of violence from local landlords and land-grabbers for more than a decade. They have been victims of assassinations, torture and threats by armed goons under the employ of local landlords. The Brazilian state has always turned a blind eye to these atrocities being committed by the landlords against the peasant masses.
The massacre in Taquarucu is not an isolated incident. White terror has been going on in the Brazilian countryside for a long time and in the years 2015-2016 for instance more than 120 leaders and members of the rural people’s movement were assassinated.
The economic crisis that hit Brazil in the beginning of 2014 due to the big drop in the prices of Brazilian exports in the international market forced the ruling classes to boost the production of Brazil’s traditional agricultural products for export (soybeans, sugar, coffee and beef) and the extraction of minerals for export (iron ore and crude oil). This has led to an intense “hunger for land” on the part of the vultures in Brazilian society: the landlords, loggers and mining magnates.
Land-grabbing has become rampant in the northern Mato Grosso and MATOPIBA region with the accompanying outbreak of reactionary violence against peasants, the quilombolas and fisherfolk villages. Millions
and millions of tons of the products of Brazil’s traditional exports are being plundered for practically nothing by big foreign trade monopolies with the collusion of Brazil’s landlords and comprador big bourgeoisie.
The Temer government that was brought to power through a US-instigated constitutional coup is now set to lift the restrictions on foreign ownership of agricultural lands that were imposed by the Lula government. If Temer’s plan is carried out, foreign companies that had to use dummies to virtually own the land can now do it legally.
With the ultra-reactionary Temer government carrying out more and more neoliberal policies, the rape of Brazil’s economy by foreign monopoly firms is bound to intensify, further impoverishing the Brazilian workers and peasants and other toiling people.
Resistance by the broad masses of the people is also bound to grow and reactionary violence will surely be resorted to by the reactionary government against such resistance.
We, the ILPS, express our unity with and support for the progressive people’s movement in Brazil in opposing the imperialist and reactionary attacks on the people. We call on all progressive and freedom-loving people of the world to likewise extend their solidarity and support for the Brazilian people in their continuing struggle for national independence, social justice and democracy!
Solidarity with Taquaruçu do Norte villagers!
Punish the paramilitaries and their landlord bosses!
Justice for the victims of massacres in the countryside!
Down with the country-selling maneuvers from the landlord class and all reactionaries submissive to imperialism!
Down with Michel Temer’s puppet regime!
Long live the building of the worker-peasant alliance!
Long live the international solidarity of peoples!