The following is an unofficial translation of the article, Military Police and Gunmen Shoot at Manoel Ribeiro Camp by Resistência Camponesa.
The article is a condemnation of the attacks by the old Brazilian state and the latifundio N. S. Aparecida, against peasants at Camp Manoel Ribeiro, who have indiscriminately used pesticides which have contaminated rivers and soil of neighboring properties, causing intoxication of countless peasants; spraying practices have been performed in the camp area and in neighboring settlements; illegal approaches against several families from neighboring areas and around the camp; as well as attacks on the camp, including the use of lethal ammunition against the campers.
Military Police and Gunmen Shoot at Manoel Ribeiro Camp
Resistência Camponesa, January 30
As the latifundio and its servants in the old state prepare for repressive escalation against the Manoel Ribeiro camp, police and gunmen step up attacks to keep families under tension.
Military police and gunmen from the Nossa Senhora Aparecida farm committed on January 29, a series of crimes in the vicinity of the camp, located in the rural area of Chupinguaia, on the border with the municipality of Corumbiara. Two PM vehicles, one from the Special Border Security Group (Gefron) and large estate vans hovered around the revolutionary areas neighboring Maranatã 1 and 2 and Zé Bentão. They invaded the properties of peasants to remove flags from LCP and from Camp Manoel Ribeiro; the same flags of the Agrarian Revolution that terrify landowners, fill peasant and democratic hopes in Brazil and in the world. Police and gunmen in three uncharacterized pickups stopped residents in an intimidating and threatening manner, as if the peasants and campers were criminals. For a resident, they asked if he was going to the camp and threatened: “If you were going to camp you were going to the wrong place, the people there will be bad.” Residents of the region recognized police officers without uniforms and without identification with the gunslingers on the farm.
Shortly afterwards, late at night, the vehicles approached Manoel Ribeiro camp and fired several pistols in the direction of the entrance. Another criminal fact that proves what the peasants always denounce: the police act as gunmen of the landowners!
These crimes by the military police, instead of intimidating the peasants, increased the spirit of resistance of the families of the Manoel Ribeiro camp. The peasants continue to fight for the rest of the old Santa Elina farm, supported by peasants and small traders in the region.
The garbage press, paid by the latifundio, has been vomiting their lies to try to criminalize, demoralize and isolate the peasants. Recently, some reports slander that campers have caused damage to neighboring peasants by puncturing their vehicle tires. Plumper! Who harms the inhabitants of the region and the nation is the latifundio land thief, who murders indigenous people and peasants to monopolize the land to produce only for export, while the people have to pay R $10 for a liter of soy oil and cannot eat meat, even in Rondônia with more ox than people. Who causes damage to the residents of the region is the latifundium that passes poison from an airplane, intoxicating the people, contaminating rivers and soils, destroying peasant crops and even forests. Ibama and Sedam are the ones who cause damage to the region’s residents, who apply extortionate fines, apprehend chainsaws and other work tools of peasants and small loggers. Those who cause damage to the residents of the region are the landowners who end the roads and bridges with their heavy trucks without paying a cent of tax, which are exempted by the governments on duty.
And the reactionaries who think that the people forgot the crimes that the latifundia, the police and their “justice” did against the families that dared to take the Santa Elina farm in 1995 are mistaken. For all that, taking one or two – bags from the latifundia, the absolute majority of peasants and traders in the region and neighboring municipalities materially support, encourage and support the peasants of the Manoel Ribeiro camp.
Respond to increased repression with more resistance and solidarity
Peasants denounce that the latifundio Nossa Senhora Aparecida increased the number of gunmen, even saw uniformed elements and in a garment that looked like bulletproof vest. Three days ago, gunmen fired dozens of firearms at the camp.
But where there is oppression, there is resistance! Far from being frightened, families raise their organization and preparation, aware of the fairness of their struggle, especially now in the midst of the greatest economic and political crisis in history, aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Peasants continue to call for the active support of all peasants, workers, small and medium-sized traders and Democrats. And they continue reaffirming: “We want to live in peace, but if they offer us war, they will have war! We will not leave our lands! We are united and organized! If they move a war apparatus against us, to try to get us out of the ground, make sure that we will resist with nails, teeth and in whatever way we can.
“These lands are watered with the blood of the peasants who heroically resisted and fought for them in 1995 and of the indigenous peoples slaughtered by landowners and their old state. And if necessary, we will add our blood to those heroes. Just like the fighters of Santa Elina in 1995, today 25 years later we shout out with a firm voice: Even if things get thicker, this land is ours!
All the land on the old Santa Elina farm is now owned by the people!
Fighting is not a crime!
The people want land, not repression!
Conquer the land, destroy the latifundium!
Land for those who work on it!
Long live the Agrarian Revolution!
People’s Assembly of Camp Manoel Ribeiro
CDRA – Committee for the Defense of the Agrarian Revolution at Camp Manoel Ribeiro
LCP – League of Poor Peasants of Rondônia and Western Amazon
January 30, 2021