The following is an unofficial translation of the A Nova Democracia article “PA: Pistoleiros atacam camponeses e provocam incêndios no Acampamento Osmir Venuto”
Gunmen at the behest of the latifundio invaded Camp Osmir Venuto, burned houses and wounded peasants. The attack occurred at dawn on December 14, in Eldorado dos Carajás, southern Pará, against the area organized by the League of Poor Peasants (LCP).
According to peasants’ reports, around midnight the families were awakened by the sound of gunshots. At this time, the gunmen started the invasion of shacks and set fires in the houses. Peasants report that gunmen wore camouflaged clothing and carried large caliber weapons.
Seeking refuge, the families made their escape through the forest. Several people, including the elderly and children, were injured. A lady with special needs was removed from the area by other peasants in the midst of the attack.
A peasant woman from the area reported, “The gunmen on the farm shooting and the families ran everything into the woods.” He also affirmed, “There we live in constant threat, the situation is difficult.”
Images recorded by the peasants demonstrate that the fire consumed the houses, animals and vehicles. They also report that their belongings, such as clothes and documents, were also consumed by the flames.
A peasant woman also reported: “It burned everything, it burned parrot, dog died burnt, it burned chicken, our motorcycles, it burned everything, everything!” He also said: “There was a lot there and even the personal document were not taken, everything was burned […] The companions there were only wearing the clothes on their bodies, there were people who stayed in shorts, there was not even time to get a shirt.”
SUCCESSIVE ATTACKS BY THE LATIFUNDIUM IN COLLUSION WITH THE OLD STATE
The families, who have lived in the area for eight years, are fighting an intense struggle for land. Successive attacks by the latifundium have been denounced by the peasants over these years and echoed by A Nova Democracia.
The area was part of the former Surubim farm, whose alleged owner is identified as Almikar Farid Yamim, a large landowner and land grabber of enormous proportions of public land, a fact confirmed by the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra).
The region was also the scene of the episode that became known as the “Eldorado dos Carajás Massacre,” which took place on April 17, 1996, when, in an eviction, 150 unidentified police officers murdered 19 peasants and wounded 69. Another episode of National repercussion was the slaughter of Pau D’Arco, on May 24, 2017, an event in which ten peasants were executed in cold blood by police, at the Santa Lúcia farm in the city of Pau D’Arco in southwest Pará.
WE RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING NOTE FROM THE NATIONAL POOR PEASANTS’ LEAGUE COMMISSION ABOUT THE SERIOUS ATTACKS THAT OCCURRED IN THE STATE OF PARÁ:
Goiânia, December 16, 2020
Attack on Camp Osmir Venuto is premeditated crime, announced and covered up by the genocidal dictatorship of the generals and Bolsonaro.
Around midnight on Monday, December 14, heavily armed gunmen attacked and burned several shacks at the Osmir Venuto camp, located in Eldorado dos Carajás, southern Pará.
They arrived shooting, dozens of peasants running into the forest, elderly comrades, children and even a disabled comrade.
Cowards, they knew they wouldn’t find many peasants in the area. Dozens of families were already fighting in other land seizures in the region, as a result of the criminal leniency and malfeasance of the ‘authorities’ Incra, Iterpa, federal and state courts “that for years on end rolled up families, disappeared with maps, promised and ‘depreciated’ surveys.” Even the lawyers of the peasants managed to prove (in this process of endless winding, real torture by drips and drops) that around half of the lands of the “Complexo Surubim,” formed by several farms, were stolen and taken over by the landowner Amilcar Farid Yamim.
Even more cowardly because they started their attacks on comrades who resisted and did not accept the crumbs offered by the landowner’s managers and emissaries to leave the camp, which by the way was on DNIT’s lands, by the road.
Even more ignominious is this crime against Brazilian peasants because the attack was carried out in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, which has already killed almost 200,000 Brazilians, less because of the virus itself and much more because of the terrible conditions of life and health of the vast majority of our suffering population. A pandemic in which the rich became richer and the poor poorer.
It is worth remembering: in Pará, and particularly in this region, fraud in crickets is so blatant that in real estate registries are falsely documented areas that, together, exceed 4 times the area of the State. As if the State of Pará had 4 floors!
And denouncing this criminal attack is a task for all Democrats in every corner of the country. In Pará, peasants have nowhere to denounce.
DECA, the Police Station Specializing in Agrarian Conflicts, was the police force that carried out the Pau D`arco Massacre, killing ten peasants inside the Fazenda Santa Lúcia (the area was being purchased by INCRA, an impasse arose on account of R$500,000 because Incra offered R$21,000,000 (approximately $4.1 million USD) and the “widow of the landowner” and his clever lawyers wanted R$21,500,000).
In Marabá, in 2007 and 2008, a public defender who heard the peasants and proved the torture in the war operation carried out by the Lula government and governor Ana Júlia Carepa (Worker’s Party—PT) (the largest ever carried out against peasants fighting for land) since the days of the Guerrilha do Araguaia) against the more than 600 families that took over the slaveholding latifundium known as “Forkilha.” Well, the wife of this public defender had just given birth. They received a miniature coffin at their home. Threatened, he asked for a transfer to Belém.
This is one of the most disputed regions in the country. Where the bloodthirsty and war criminal Major Curió worked. It is the cradle of the paramilitary group, the armed wing of the latifundium, known as UDR, which was never dismantled by Itamar, FHC, Lula, Dilma and Temer, and which now has its chief Nabhan Garcia, militiaman and assassin, commanding the Secretariat of Land Affairs of Bolsonaro. Where Vale, JBS, Lula’s son, and now the soybean farmers, dispute the booty of the very rich lands stolen from the Union and massacre the peasants.
Peasants, we say, will never stop fighting! With all this repression, with the massacre of Eldorado dos Carajás, with the massacre of Pau D`arco, with the Forkilha war operation, with the murder of dozens of peasants, religious and lawyers, like the dear Gabriel Pimenta in 1982, here and there, until the end of so much land theft, so much exploitation and so much injustice, the struggle for the land of peasants, indigenous and quilombolas and affected by mining and dams will emerge with increased strength.
Cowards and murderers will pay for their crimes!
All support to the peasants of Camp Osmir Venuto!
Land for those who live and work on it!
– National Peasant Peasants League Commission
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