Music: Santa Elina Belongs to the Peasants

Cover Illustration: Reed Everson

By David Martinez

Tribune of the People is pleased to share “Santa Elina Belongs to the Peasants” (“Santa Elina é dos camponeses,” in the original Portuguese)—a song released this past week by the Brazilian group Canto Geral.

The song is a tribute to the revolutionary peasant movement, which fights for the Agrarian Revolution against the latifundium (i.e., the big landlords who maintain semi-feudal relations in the countryside of Brazil). The latifundium works in concert with the big bourgeoisie of the Old Brazilian State, not only to sell off the land of the peasants to imperialist interests, but also to carry out genocidal operations against the peasants’ movement in a vain attempt to stop their struggle.

The Santa Elina Farm, in the western Amazon state of Rondônia, is an area where peasants have fought for decades, establishing Camp Manoel Ribeiro on the land last fall. The peasants of Camp Manoel Ribeiro recently broke through a police encirclement, retreating through the police siege that was part of a plan to massacre the families living there. Peasants left a banner hanging on posts that read, “We will return stronger and more prepared.”

The League of Poor Peasants (LCP, Liga dos Camponeses Pobres), celebrated in the song’s final line, is a revolutionary organization which has led the peasants’ struggle at Santa Elina, and now faces increased criminalization and attacks from the military government of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.

Below is an unofficial translation of the song’s lyrics.

Santa Elina Belongs to the Peasants

Soaked with the blood
Of workers and peasants
To the Santa Elina Farm
We will return once again

Santa Elina belongs to the peasants
No genocide will tear it away
The glorious red flag
Waves in Rondônia

The terrorist government
Wants to murder the people
Latifundium, their gunmen
Kiss the military’s boot

Santa Elina belongs to the peasants
No genocide will tear it away
The glorious red flag
Waves in Rondônia

The Agrarian Revolution
Is the path of the peasants
Give the land to those who work it
Long live the LCP

Santa Elina belongs to the peasants
No genocide will tear it away
The glorious red flag
Waves in Rondônia

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