All our rebelliousness when they kill a Landless

Márcio Matos, a leader of the MST and a political reference in the struggle for the state of Bahia, was murdered at his home in the Boa Sorte settlement in Iramaia, in the Chapada Diamantina region.

It is with regret and revolt that we received the sad news of the murder of comrade Márcio Matos (33), leader of the MST and a political reference in the struggle for land in the state of Bahia. Marcinho, as he was known, was killed on Wednesday night (Jan 24) at his home, located in the Boa Sorte Settlement, in Iramaia, in the Chapada Diamantina region. According to reports from family and friends, the leader was killed with three shots in front of his son.

Born in Vitória da Conquista, in southwest Bahia, he became one of the leading Landless leaderships in the state, known for his articulation with left-wing parties, popular movements and organizations. At the MST, he assumed the national leadership as a young man and remained in the task for eight years, standing out for his characteristic of mobilizing the masses.

Father, a peasant, a son of the working class and committed to social transformation, Marcinho assumed the Itaetê Administration Secretariat in the last period and contributed directly to the Socialist Popular Left (EPS), an inside chain of the Workers’ Party (PT).

Márcio was one of the idealizers of the many achievements we have had in recent years, putting into practice principles such as solidarity and companionship, without letting go unnoticed values forged in the heart of the struggles, such as political sensitivity, understanding, dialogue and a tireless ability to be indignant with injustice.

The death of the comrade is added to a sad national scene of violence against the peasant workers. 2017, according to the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), was a bloody year. “The context lived by the peasant and peoples of the water and forests demanded stubbornness, resistance and questioning about the role of the state,” the organization explains. Given this, it points out some partial data on violence in the land struggle. According to the Commission, 65 people were murdered in land conflicts, in many cases with cruelty, an index that gives Brazil the title of the most violent country to the peasant populations in the world.

The cruel murder of Marcinho reminds us that five years ago we lost comrade Fábio Santos, who was also the leader of this organization. Fábio was assassinated with 15 shots in front of his partner and children, in the course that carried out between the headquarters of the municipality of Iguaí to the district of Palmeirinha, both in the Southwest of Bahia. Until now, no one was arrested and impunity persisted.

This is a time of mourning, but also of struggle. Therefore, we demand that the Justice immediately initiate investigations into the murder of Márcio. We will not allow this death to go unpunished and we will continue the popular struggle waged by him in the various trenches.

We sympathize with family members, friends and all the MST militants who are mobilized in the settlements and camps scattered throughout Bahia and together we will make our cry of repudiation be heard. That is why we will continue to head upwards against capital, agribusiness and in defense of Socialism, so that the blood of the workers, that paints our red flag of rebellion, is one of the reasons we have more to fight.

Whereas you are threatening us with
With rifles and cannons
We decided: from now on
We shall fear misery more than death.
Bertold Brecht