Brazil: Cleomar, Leader of Poor Peasants League in Northern Minas and Bahia is killed in ambush

By CEBRASPO, 23 October 2014

On Wednesday, the peasant Cleomar, coordinator of Liga dos Camponeses Pobres do Norte de Minas e Bahia (Poor Peasants League of Northern Minas and Bahia) was ambushed and killed in Pedra Maria da Cruz, near the Área Revolucionário Unidos com Deus Venceremos, where he lived, worked and struggled with his comrades. Cleomar organized collective honey production in the area, and part of this production he and his fellow workers protested the political repression in Rio de Janeiro, which made him very happy. Recently, Cleomar attended the Congress of the International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) held in Rio de Janeiro.

We demand investigation and punishment of the perpetrators and masterminds of this crime against the people!
Comrade Cleomar! Presente!
We reproduce below statement from the National Commission of the Poor Peasants League:

Leader of the League of Poor Peasants of Northern Mines and Bahia is murdered in Pedras de Maria da Cruz
Belo Horizonte, October 23, 2014
Comrade Cleomar, Coordinator of Poor Peasants League of North Gerais and Bahia, was cowardly assassinated October 22, 2014, after passing the “cancela do cascalho” (“gate of gravel”) and entering the path to get to the Área Revolucionária Unidos com Deus Venceremos, where he lived, worked and fought for the piece of land along with other companeros.
His body was found pierced by gunfire, according to the first report of his companion who was quite distraught.
We are sending this announcement to all who support and accompany the struggle for land, to denounce this crime of landlordism and this rotten and murderous state, while the Poor Peasants League North Mine is gathering all the information and preparing an honorable farewell to this martyr of the struggle of the people.
We urge everyone to be present at the farewell to this comrade, (despite the distance).
Cleomar was humble, dedicated, responsible, hardworking, combative, intelligent, patient, insightful, politicized. He was a husband and exemplary, respectful, affectionate father.
Cleomar often received death threats, and constantly denounced the authorities, whose attacks continued.

The murder of comrade Cleomar continues the hundreds of attacks and ambushes against peasants struggling for land: at roadblocks, where the companeros must stop; and after hearing the Public Prosecutor, on 09 October, about large landowners closing roads, preventing access to water from artesian wells by the municipal CDR, being evicted from lands occupied by INCRA, but which never received a hearing for justice, was back to square one, as has happened in thousands of cases in this country in recent years.  Cleomar denounced the landowners threats against him, and called for the peasants’ union, vazanteiros, fishermen and Maroons against landlordism to conquer the land.

Cleomar was popular in many areas, Cleomar organized the production of honey by a collective group, and imagine the happiness that he got when he saw “his” honey helping political prisoners protesters in Rio de Janeiro … Cleomar had participated in the early years of the Congress of the International Association of People’s Lawyers, and his interest in the struggles of other people was contagious. Cleomar fought not only for land, Cleomar wanted power for the worker-peasant alliance!
We lift high his name, and uphold and popularize the fight of comrade Cleomar, martyr of our people!
We are filled with pain and anger, hatred, and the spirit of revenge! Against the killers and those responsible for the murder of Cleomar —  First, landowners and their gunmen; Second, this state and its officers and managers, opportunistic scoundrels, who could have prevented the death of the comrade, if they did at least one percent of the Brazilian constitution that says this … Cleomar exposed the Incra and urged people to go and see those who lied and deceived and covered up the crimes.
Pain and anger, hatred, revenge. We demand justice!
Honor and glory to the martyrs of our people!
Long live the struggle for land! Viva Agrarian Revolution!
Comrade Cleomar, Presente!


Brazil: The Agrarian Reality and the Central Role of the Peasant Struggle

The struggle for land and the brutal suppression of the peasant population: the ongoing account of the reality of the agrarian question in Brazil

The huge monopolisation of the land ownership by the ”Latifundio” (the big landowners) in Brazil continues to rise and it is the basis of the history of the ongoing economic and social crisis in the country and, it is at the same time, the basis of current intensification conflicts. Only 2% of landowners (around 23,000) with properties above 1000 hectares hold almost 50% of all land titles in the country (210.5 million hectares)! While 90% of those (4.95 million peasant families), small holders (with properties of up to one hundred hectares) hold only 20% of them (84.1 million hectares)! The medium landowners (with properties of a hundred thousand hectares) that are 8% (440.000) hold the remaining 125.9 million hectares. Besides this there are about 5 million landless peasant families.(*)
This structure of land ownership, that maintains and reproduces the archaic semi-feudal system, is the basis on which imperialism has developed bureaucratic capitalism – that is backward capitalism through which monopoly capital, i.e. imperialism, has imposed in dominated countries. Capitalism, of the bureaucratic type, was developed in Brazil when capitalism had passed to its monopoly stage, i.e. the imperialist phase – in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.
It was propelled forwards mainly by British imperialism in alliance with the big landowners (the rural landowning oligarchies) and large local merchants and importers. The nascent bourgeoisie was weak and having stagnated because capital was already in the imperialist phase, could not advance forward the bourgeois revolution in Brazil. It is also true that the nascent proletariat was unable to lead and advance the national-democratic revolution to its end, leaving it in an incomplete state. This was caused by the weaknesses of the Communist Party, which did not understand its role. A role that under the circumstances at the time demanded that a bourgeois revolution could only be carried out under its leadership. A revolutionary leadership that was based on the worker-peasant alliance and a united front with the small and medium bourgeoisie, conducted through revolutionary armed struggle in order that, on the one hand, it must remove the domination of landowners, destroy the old relations of land ownership, give the land to those who work on it and free the productive forces of the field. On the other hand, it must wipe the imperialist domination and confiscate all the bureaucratic capital (state and non-state), centralizing everything in the hands of the new popular state to promote a new self-reliant economy geared to serve the welfare of the people, advancing new democracy and promote a new culture.
Without these tasks being fulfilled, the fundamental and root causes of the contradictions remain intact, semi-feudal relations continue to remain with some evolution in its forms, consequently determine that Brazil would continue to remain a backward country. Under such conditions all that is called development and industrialization has only deepened the denationalization of the economy and its subjugation to mainly American imperialism. Continue reading

Brazil: Poor Peasants League Honors Revolutionary Martyr Renato as Land Struggle Advances

Vibrant Rally in honor of Renato and against the criminalization of land struggle

WrLCP1itten by LCP Rondônia and Western Amazon, Published on 10/04/2013

On April 9, Jaru was shaken by a vibrant rally and demonstration in honor of the companion Renato and denunciation of his barbaric murder a year ago. The action was also taken in support of new land seizures in the region of Jaru and new campaign against criminalization of the struggle for land, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Ênedy, the 7th Battalion of the PM.

The ceremony and demonstration were attended by about 300 people from the four corners of Rondônia, most poor farmers, campers on the land conquered by the Agrarian Revolution. Attended areas: Canaan, the Sun Ray and Renato Nathan 2, Lamarca, Spring and Palmares – Ariquemes, Jaru and Theobroma; Jacinópolis – the region of Buritis; Bentão Zé Renato and Nathan – the region Corumbiara. And yet, the new camps Theobroma: Fortaleza, Bom Futuro, Zé Porphyry farm and camp Arizona 2.

LCP2The action was sponsored by Cebraspo – Brazilian Center of Solidarity with the Peoples, the Poor Peasants League of Rondônia and western Amazonia, and the National Leagues of Poor Peasants. Also participating were students, teachers, lawyers, workers, representatives of various democratic movements and entities of Jaru, Rolim de Moura, Porto Velho, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro:, IHG – Human Rights Institute Helena Grecco, CPT – Pastoral Land Commission Rondônia, DCE Merge – Central Directory of Students of the Federal University of Rondonia, MEPR – Popular Revolutionary Student Movement, Workers League, Sledgehammer – Workers Union of Construction, Moclate – Classista Movement of Workers Education, Catholic Church of Jaru.

The interventions of the peasants and representatives of organizations and movements saluted the memory of the great leader Renato, a peasant who lived, worked and fought among peasants in Corumbiara, Machadinho D’Oeste, Jacinópolis and Jaru. Wherever he went, there was only talk:

– When I was sick, Renato knocked on my door to help me.

– I had so much work, every afternoon the fellow came to my house and was chopping wood for me.

– This bridge and this road was Renato’s idea, so we organized and built on our strengths.

– If not for the Teacher, we would not have this school.

Renato encouraged the people to fight for their rights, not to have illusions about electoral candidates and the “authorities” of governments, relying only on the strength of our organization and militant struggle. Therefore Renato was murdered. Continue reading

Brazil: Poor Peasants League celebrates the conquest of Santa Elina Farm


On December 3, 4 and 5 a celebration of the People’s Land Cut was held in the area of Santa Elina Farm in the city of Corumbiara (in the state of Rondônia, Northern Brazil). A team of the newspaper “Peasant Resistance” was invited by the LCP (Poor Peasants League) and followed the entire celebration.

The activity was organized by CODEVISE – Committee for the Defense of Victims of Santa Elina–and by the LCP–Poor Peasants’ League–of Rondônia and Western Amazon. The goal was to celebrate the people’s cut of the land already conquered and to deliver certificates of land ownership to the peasants.

The peasants wanted to highlight the importance of conquering  the Santa Elina Farm, which is a symbol of peasant resistance in our country, and was an achievement that cost years of great struggle, work and blood.

The peasants started arriving for the celebration on December 3. Due to the bad conditions of roads in that region, many peasants had to walk about 15 km on foot to reach the site of the celebration, which took place in an antique farmhouse. But it was not a problem for the peasants because they were so excited and happy with their victory over this symbol of the landowners, and because they knew they can overcome any difficulty. Continue reading