A truly historic moment is upon us: On November 9 Roberto Requi"o, Governor of the State of Paran·, signed a decree to expropriate the test site of the Syngenta corporation in Brazil, located in Santa Tereza do Oeste, for the public interest! This decision is unprecedented in Brazil and Latin America (indeed, possibly the world), as never before has any state or federal government in the region decided to expropriate land from a major multinational agribusiness corporation. This is a major victory in the global struggle against the hegemony of agribusiness. While Requi"oís decree to expropriate the site from Syngenta is first and foremost a result of the strength and resolve of the Via Campesina and the social movements, it is also the result of the international campaign to support the occupation, for which you all have provided immeasurable support. Requi"oís act is proof of the growing power of the social movements, and highlights the potential and importance of international solidarity campaigns to support their struggles. The Via Campesina and Terra de Direitos thank you for your solidarity and support.
Requi"o decided to expropriate the site from Syngenta after an eight-month, non-violent occupation of the site by the Via Campesina, which occupied the site on March 14th after the federal government confirmed Syngenta had illegally planted 12 hectares of genetically-modified soybeans there. The corporationís criminal activity resulted in a fine of US $465,000 by the federal environmental agency, which Syngenta still has not paid. Syngenta is a Swiss multinational agribusiness
corporation that earned US $8.1 billion in 2005.
Requi"oís legal recourse to expropriate the site from Syngenta is based in the Brazilian constitution, which gives Brazilian states sovereignty to natural areas and the environment, to combat pollution of whatever form, and to preserve the forests, fauna and flora. Requi"o intends to turn the site into a center for agroecological research and education for landless, rural workers and small farmers.
However, there is no doubt that Syngenta will fight this decision in the federal courts. Indeed, the battle is far from over. Terra de Direitos is preparing to for the next phase of the international campaign to support Requi"o in the battle with Syngenta. WE NEED YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT! We ask that you please heed our urgent action requests and always spread the
word about Syngenta!
Governor Requi"oís decree and a photo is attached.
Another World is PossibleÖ.and Today that World is Palpable!
Coordinator, International Campaign to Support the Expropriation of Syngenta
Terra de Direitos
November 23, 2006