By Jakob Stein
On Saturday, October 3, a lieutenant and a sergeant with the Rondônia Military Police reserve were killed in the Mutum-Paraná district about 160km from Porto Velho. Since this discovery, the Brazilian press monopoly, the Military Police in Rondônia, and fascist President Jair Bolsonaro have used the incident to falsely blame the League of Poor Peasants (LCP) and justify intensified repression against reclaimed camps in the region, specifically the Tiago dos Santos Camp.
While media reports of the killing have been conflicting, reactionary outlets like Rondoniagora have explicitly blamed “armed squatters of the LCP.” They also claim that the lieutenant was ambushed while fishing with others, tortured, and that the attackers stole documents and subsequently burned their vehicle before releasing other members of the group. Additionally, they claim that the sergeant was killed later, while investigating the incident along with three other officers who were injured.
In the wake of the killings, the Rondônia Military Police have unleashed a campaign of terror against the Tiago dos Santos Camp, cutting off travel for the 600 families that reside there, as well as the flow of supplies including food and milk for small children. The poor peasant families have taken the farm as part of the national struggle for land, rejecting the fraudulent claims from parasitic landlords based on falsified documents.
According to the peasants themselves, the death of the officers, which occurred dozens of kilometers away from the camp, is the perfect pretext for a retaliatory campaign of humiliation and slaughter against the camp, which is all too common in the Brazilian countryside. The LCP have commented that the killings were likely a settling of scores between the police, landlords, and their hired gunmen.
The press monopoly has reported that specialized units are being used to gather intelligence, which will undoubtedly be used for a violent raid. They have also repeatedly slandered the LCP, with Rondônia governor Colonel Marcos Rocha saying, “They are criminals, not farmers.” He also commented that the revolutionary peasants “are trained, have technology and heavy weapons and use guerrilla tactics. The PM [Military Police] and all the forces of the Security Secretariat will act to contain these criminals, using the necessary force.” His comments are a clear indication of the violent fury the Old State is planning to unleash on the peasant camp.
In an act of further incitement, Bolsonaro posted a video to Twitter of a completely different camp of peasants carrying LCP flags, who chased out a group of police after facing harassment and intimidation, along with a caption reading, “I have my opinion, what is yours?” The move is reminiscent of Donald Trump, who also likes to post videos of combative protests on Twitter and call for violent repression from both police and his reactionary base. Both cases are not-so-subtle nods to the most reactionary sections of society, and a foreshadowing of increased violence yet to come.
While no one should shed a tear for these dead agents of the Old Brazilian State, their killings are being used as a political tool for reaction to prop up their agenda and justify the further terror. All progressive minded people have a duty to stand in solidarity with the persecuted peasants of Tiago dos Santos Camp and loudly denounce the genocidal plans of the reactionary state.
Below we share two articles from the LCP and A Nova Democracia on the lies propagated by the Brazilian press monopoly against the Tiago do Santos Camp related to the killing of the two military police officers
Brazil: LCP “Down with the lies of the Military Police of Rondônia and ‘brown’ sites in service of the latifundium!”
Statement from the League of Poor Peasants (LCP)
A flurry of news has been spreading since Saturday night October 3 about the death of MPs (Military Police) from Rondônia in an area near the Tiago dos Santos Camp in Nova Mutum, Paraná, district of Porto Velho.
One of [the MPs who] would have been from the reserve force, was supposedly fishing, when he was supposedly ambushed, murdered, and the other MP supposedly participated in an attempt to rescue the first when he was shot.
From then on a series of unfounded accusations of hatred against the peasants and the League have followed, and over 60 men from special task forces have been sent, with promises of murdering the peasants.
In this Rondônia MP, which recognizes that its active and reserve cadres do pistol work for landowners and land thieves, one can’t trust even a “little bit… if anything”, as Che Guevara said at the UN, in regards to imperialism.
The truths about it all are:
Over 600 families, 2,000 men, women, and children of Tiago dos Santos Camp are fighting for a public area of more than 57,000 hectares (approximately 140849 acres), criminally and illegally shackled, stolen, and used by the landowner Antônio Martins dos Santos, known as Galo Velho (Old Rooster), who was arrested this year in July in the Amicus Regem operation (Friends of the King).
If these uniform-wearing raccoons in Rondônia have anything to settle in regards to their failures, then they better “settle” them among themselves and their plundering bosses, politicians, and landowners. Wash their dirty mouths to talk about the peasants, the “landless,” and the LCP.
WE DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL OF THE MP FROM THE REGION.
It is impressive how they lie and are cowards. If there was, as they said, a confrontation between peasants and police, there must be injured peasants. And who will answer this question, of what peasants have been injured?
Let all the voices of the advocates of democracy and honest people throughout Brazil rise immediately. All this speech is to hide something very serious and justify a massacre!
What we have to say is short and objective:
Out with all the MPs and police forces of Nova Mutum Paraná!
Out with all the Old Rooster and his raccoons of the 57,000 stolen hectares!
Long live the fight for the land!
Land for those who live and work on it!
Long live the Tiago dos Santos Camp!
Murder of reserve cadre of Military Police is the pretext to justify attacks towards Peasants
Article by A Nova Democracia
The death of a lieutenant of the Military Police (MP) reserve in Rondônia, on the afternoon of October 3, triggered all the bloodshed of the MP of Rondônia who began to attack the peasants of the Tiago dos Santos Camp and the Dois Amigos area, in the region of União Bandeirantes district, in Porto Velho.
The news still out of date shows that the reserve officer who was murdered was fishing on a farm when he was attacked by an armed group, taken hostage, tortured, and executed. Other news says that other people were with the police officer who was killed and were “released.” Other information from the reactionary press is that they were wounded.
Confusing news, which seeks to criminalize the peasants and their struggle
One of the news reports says that the executed policeman was fishing on “a farm on BR-364, about 20 kilometers after the district of Nova Mutum Paraná, in Porto Velho (RO)”.
Now, the area occupied by the families of the Tiago Camp is a completely different one. However, the reactionary press (Rondoniagora newspaper), has already tried to sow the lie that they were “armed squatters of the LCP” who “broke into a car and took the documents of the victims.” The fallacious news goes on to say that “the group of policemen was tortured” and “the vehicle they were in was burned”. It is not clear what the group of policemen was doing there. Was it fishing? Could this murder be related to an eventual “cover-up” by the Military Police?
Other news indicates that another policeman, a sergeant in the MP’s tactical force, was “found dead inside the undergrowth” and supposedly composed a group that went to attend to the occurrence of the lieutenant’s murder. Still according to the press of the latifundium “unofficial information reports that there is a police officer lost in the thicket and [that] another MP [was] shot in the hand”. It is not clear where the execution of the reserve officer took place and where the supposed confrontation with peasants that left another policeman dead and others wounded took place.
The fact is that, according to information from supporters of the areas and lawyers, there is a strong movement of the MP, still on the night of Saturday, October 3, to the area that aims to attack the peasants. The peasants in the areas claim that they have no involvement with the incident that killed the police officer of the reserve and that they are open to dialogue, as reported by lawyers who have followed the case.
It is important that democratic organizations that support the just struggle for land organize a national campaign, since there is a growing process of criminalization of several peasant areas in different regions of the state of Rondônia.
More Updates on Brazil’s Peasant Resistance
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