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Monday, December 5, 2016
Brazil: landless workers plan major march for justice
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¬†Landless workers from all over Brazil are planning a major march on the capital to call for agrarian reform. The Movement for the Landless, (MST) whose supporters include CAFOD and Christian Aid are expecting around 10,000 supporters to convene on central government offices in Brasilia in March and April. There has been an increase in violence against landless people in recent months. In November, five landless workers were killed in Minas Gerais, Brazil, by hooded gunmen who set fire to the huts of 100 families at a camp run by MST. Another 20 people were injured at the 'Promised Land' camp in the Jequitinhonha Valley. The attack happened while the camp's coordinating committee was meeting in a communal hut. Four people at the meeting were killed instantly. A fifth person died later in hospital. Many of the landless workers believe the attackers were employed by large landowners in the region. Government officials ≠ including the Minister for Agrarian Development, Miguel Rossetto, the National Secretary for Human Rights, and the Head of the Land Reform Department ≠ visited the area following the killings. Mr Rossetto, described the massacre as 'unacceptable' and promised that the federal government would fully support a police investigation. More than 500 MST members from across the region also visited the camp for the funeral, and held a protest against continued violence and lack of arrests. Similar protests were held across the country. MST has consistently raised questions over the ownership of this land and is contesting its title with the present occupier. This latest attack occurs almost nine years after 19 MST members were killed by military police at Eldorado dos Carajas, in the state of ParŠ. Those responsible for that massacre are yet to be brought to justice. Source: Christian Aid/MST
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