Brazil: The failure of Parliamentary Inquiry Commission against the Landless Workers Movement

In Brazil, the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (PIC) against the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) came to an end this Wednesday (27) with an agro-military bench political defeat. In the end, the far right was unable to even put the report prepared by Ricardo Salles to a vote.

The PIC did not bring forward the real problems in the countryside, on the contrary, it was another political platform for the ex-president Jair Bolsonaro right wing supporters to advance in the historic process of criminalizing the struggle in defense of Agrarian Reform, seeking to investigate the legitimate occupations carried out by the MST throughout this year. It is in this context that the PIC omits the main agrarian problems in Brazil caused by agribusiness, such as the growing deforestation and fires, land grabbing, violence in the countryside, the over-exploitation of labour, based on the use of labour similar to slavery, destruction and contamination of natural resources through the use of pesticides.

Furthermore, we understand that the Commission, like the steps taken and the report itself, were forms of intimidation and persecution against Landless leaders who fight for the democratization of access to land and for a popular project in Brazil.

In a country where Brazilian men and women still go hungry, we repudiate the final report presented by the Commission and point out the need to position the legitimacy of the struggle for land and Agrarian Reform as central elements to discuss a political project for the countryside, facing social inequalities and guaranteeing the right to live and produce healthy food.

We highlight that the MST was not alone in the fight against the attempted criminalization promoted by the PIC. There were months of solidarity from thousands of social organizations in Brazil, through the MST em Debate platform. Through it, the Movement received almost 65 thousand signatures from Brazilians, in addition to hundreds of notes and motions of support. At an international level, with the “I’m with the MST” platform, almost a thousand individual signatures were registered, from more than 400 representatives of international organizations or movements, from 93 countries.

Having overcome yet another attempt at criminalization, we will continue to fight. This PIC has never intimidated the historic flag of Agrarian Reform, for which we will march until the land is a good for everyone in Brazil. We will not back down from the task of feeding the Brazilian people with dignity and social justice.

We keep on fighting! We keep on building Popular Agrarian Reform!

Landless Rural Workers Movement – MST

First published by MSTSeptember 27, 2023