MST Quilombo Campo Grande camp resists eviction in the midst of the pandemic

The Quilombo Campo Grande camp is resisting an eviction which began early on August 12. The camp is home to 450 landless families who have been living, producing and working there for over 2 decades.

The Quilombo Campo Grande camp is currently resisting an attempted eviction which began early on Wednesday August 12. The camp located in the municipality of Campo do Meio, in the state of Minas Gerais, is home to 450 landless families. Dozens of police officers and vehicles have been brought in from neighboring cities to carry out the action.

The order to repossess the land was emitted by the State Justice, despite the fact that Minas Gerais decreed a state of public calamity due to the coronavirus pandemic. The order foresees the removal of the homes of the families as well as of the structure of the Eduardo Galeano Popular School. The familieshave resolved to stand their ground and are attempting to negotiate to remain in the camp. As of now, only the area with the school structure has been repossessed.

Members of the board of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST) denounce that the responsibility for any injured and dead as a consequence of this direct conflict with the police forces lies with Governor Romeu Zema, who allowed an eviction to be carried out amid the unprecedented public health crisis in the country.

According to the MST, the decision does not respect the agreement signed in the dialogue table about the conflict, which outlined that the families should stay in the camp as long as there was a necessity of social isolation.

The MST has also highlighted that the harassment by the police against those who live in the camp is frequent. On July 30, for example, more than 20 police agents invaded the houses on the camp and arrested landless worker Celso Auguso, who was then released on the same day.

According to those living at Quilombo Campo Grande, the police have entered the homes armed with rifles and pistols, breaking down the doors and windows. The MST denounced that the day before the eviction, the police surrounded the camp with vehicles and drones, intimidating the families.

Dozens of police officers and vehicles were brought to carry out the repossession of the land order. This would see the eviction of landless families and the dismantling of the Eduardo Galeano Popular School. Photo: MST

This is an extract of the article that appeared on People’s Dispatch on 12 August 2020. To read the full version, click here.

MST has also issued a call for international solidarity here.