Women of MST occupy the Ministry of Agriculture in Brasilia

The action aims to denounce the policies of the Bolsonaro government in relation to the economy, land, and agriculture

On the morning of Monday March 9, the women of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) occupied the Ministry of Agriculture in the capital Brasilia. 3,500 workers from 24 states in Brazil are participating in the action and it is part of the National Days of Struggle of the Landless Women.

During the action, the workers denounced the distribution of individual titles for plots of land destined as settlements of the agrarian reform, they characterize the so-called land-titling process as privatization of the areas. Among the grievances expressed by the participants in the protest are around the cuts in public investment and the unchecked liberation of agro-toxins by the Bolsonaro government.

With regards to the distribution of individual titles on plots of land for people living in settlements, they believe that the action regularizes the selling of plots of land of the Agrarian Reform. It also passes responsibility to the National Institute of Colonization and Land Reform (INCRA) over the collective areas of the settlements, where the schools and centers of political education organized by the MST are located. “We have always defended the Contract of Use of Concession (CCU), because it restricts the sale of acquired lands, for us land is a public natural asset, therefore, it can’t be merchandise”, explains MST militant, Maria da Silva Trindade.

“Despite the efforts of the current government to hide the failure of the economy, Brazilians feel the drop in public investment in their skin that between 2012 and 2014 surpassed R$66 billion, and now in 2020, it’s predicted to be less than R$20 billion. In this context, unemployment has multiplied the number of discouraged people, without homes and without food, so much so that Brazil has returned to the Hunger Map, a study done by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO),” reported the MST through a press release.

“The game-plan that has failed out there, is finding the same fantastical justifications over here. This notion that if the government spends less, markets will gain more confidence and all will be well in a stroke of magic is a lie”, critiques the MST militant.

According to her, the grip of the Bolsonaro and militiaman right wing, is an expression of the ultra-conservative project, that seeks to destroy the rights of the working class.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, 474 agro-toxins were liberated in 2019. The greatest number liberated in the last 15 years.

“Beyond this, the policies of the agrarian reform were decimated by measures like the Decree 10.252 that downsizes the structure of the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA),” says the MST. The decree ends the National Program of Education of the Agrarian Reform (Pronera), the program Land Sun and other programs that gave incentives to people living on settlements, Quilombolas and self-sustaining communities. The Program of Food Acquisition (PAA) is headed in the same direction. Last year, the value of the budget executed by the PAA with resources of the Ministry of Citizens was R$188 million. For the period that just began, the forecast is R$101 million.

“Furthermore, the Bolsonaro government is determined to privatize land and promote environmental devastation. An example is the MP 901/19 that, in practice, would exclude from environmental protection the 4,745 hectares of flora of the states of Amapá and Roraima and open these areas up to mining. The so called MP of Land-grabbing (MP 910/19) would make the rules about the agrarian regularization more flexible, giving up to 2500 acres of Union land at a symbolic 10% of their worth to illegal settlers, who are criminally land-grabbing in order to take ownership of these lands”, points out MST.

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