Editor’s Note: The following is an unofficial translation of “Força Nacional de Bolsonaro, pm e pistoleiros atiram contra camponeses” from the revolutionary peasant newspaper Resistencia Camponesa in Brazil.
By Resistencia Camponesa
Police actions against peasant areas have intensified since the announcement of “Operation Rondônia,” using federal and state forces to repress the just peasant struggle in the region and particularly the combative and honorable peasant organization LCP – League of Poor Peasants of Rondônia and Western Amazonia.
In the southern region of Rondônia, close to the Manoel Ribeiro area, the police continue to act, now together with new gunmen from the Nossa Senhora Aparecida farm, patrolling the roads and terrorizing the region’s residents.
In other regions of the state, evictions have already been carried out, favoring the land grabbers of the Union.
And in the northern region they are concentrating on repressing peasants who took large landholdings in the region, such as Sebastião Martins, the well-known Galo Velho, a notorious criminal convicted and imprisoned for falsifying land ownership documents and buying a judgement of a productive farm that [in reality -Ed.] had only forest and bush.
This and other large estates were taken over by peasants and cut into small plots where thousands of families now work. These are the areas known as Dois Amigos (two friends), Tiago dos Santos and Ademar Ferreira, names given by the peasants in honor of two peasants cowardly murdered by the police 3 years ago, in July 2018, in these same lands. These areas are located in the northwest region of Rondônia, roughly south of BR 364 and east of BR 425, which borders Bolivia.
These families have already suffered heavy attacks from the police and were evicted from the Camp at the end of last year. This was a cowardly operation against the hundreds of families who resisted after being thrown into one of the villages in the region, continued to resist and returned to the area directly to their plots that were already destroyed and have been working on the land ever since.
It is against these peasants that the troops of Bolsonaro and the military police (MP) of the governor of Rondônia, the puppet of landowners, Colonel MP Marcos Rocha, seek to concentrate forces to attack. And now they will have reinforcements even from the reactionary armed forces, as Bolsonaro has already decreed a new “GLO” [Guarantee of Law and Order, which allows the military to be used for non-military purposes at the behest of the government -Ed.] whose legal justification is firefighting, but the peasants are well aware that the real reason for the mobilization of these forces is another, as it happened in previous years, where the military disembarked from helicopters in peasant areas, invaded houses, carried out interrogations, tortured and intimidated people, seeking information about leaders and the LCP. Firefighting is just the cover to effect greater militarization of the Amazon region. Their main target is not the big loggers and big landowners,
The latest episodes within the real ongoing war operation against the peasants were incursions by the national force, MP, and hired gunmen against peasant families in the Tiago dos Santos and Ademar Ferreira areas.
In recent days, they carried out various harassment actions against the families. In one of these episodes, they headed towards areas with 3 national force vehicles, 1 MP, along with 3 other gunmen, but had to stop when they came across a barrier of tree branches on the road, placed by peasants to prevent the incursions and attacks of the cowardly troops and assassins. Peasants began to make photographic records of the presence of troops. Upon realizing the presence of the peasants, the military fired 12-caliber rifles and shotguns in the direction of the workers. On that occasion they fired at least 15 shots and the peasants withdrew from the scene.
And they are acting shamelessly with the support of paramilitary forces, actually hitmen in the pay of the latifundium [large, monopolistic landowners -Ed.], under the cover of a “private security” company. And most likely, such gunmen are police officers. This situation was confirmed in images that we received, obtained by the peasants. In them, the intention of the hired gunmen of landowners to murder workers is clear, even from a long distance, as they carry rifles with telescopic sights.
Such a bunch of gunmen, placed cameras on the roadside in order to register the peasants, but in the end they ended up registering themselves. Such images are as follows below. According to information from the peasants, there are at least 15 of these gunmen prowling the areas, all very well armed and equipped, including ballistic vests.
The situation is very serious, all the more so because the fascist and genocidal Bolsonaro himself, gives free rein to landowners and murderous troops to commit their crimes against peasants with impunity, as denounced in a statement by the LCP, “Bolsonaro arms landowners and says the police can kill peasants who will go unpunished” :
(…) Bolsonaro added that he defended the law approved in his government in which landowners can go armed at will, and as a “definitive solution” the genocidal [Bolsonaro] said the following: “we have a project within the congress that I think solves definitively, it calls excluding of unlawfulness. In other words, our police officer, he may come and shoot with these types of people, he goes home and will not receive a visit from the bailiff, what he did there becomes part of the operation and he will not respond for these acts”.
He also reinforced this by giving examples of police officers in Rio de Janeiro, who have no problem with killing, but fear the lawsuits as a result of the murderous action. Recently, police in Rio de Janeiro coldly murdered 28 young people in a single action in the Jacarezinho favela, through summary executions, after many had been surrendered and disarmed. And this criminal operation received praise and applause from the fascist Bolsonaro and his deputy, General Mourão.
In other words, what Bolsonaro points out as a “solution” to the agrarian problem in Brazil is that the landowners arm themselves even more to murder peasants and indigenous people, and as a definitive solution is to give free rein to agents of the old state to murder with impunity, even more of what they already do, and not even being bothered with investigations and lawsuits, which when they happen most of the time come to nothing.
In other words, Bolsonaro wants as a “solution” the deepening of the policy of terror and massacre committed centuries ago by the latifundium and its old state, now in an even more open and unpunished way. Now that’s terrorism! It is state terrorism, and not only what the fascist Bolsonaro preaches, but what he seeks to apply with his government, even more so with the preventive counterrevolutionary coup currently underway, in which he disputes the direction with the High Command of the Armed Forces ( ACFA).
There is an urgent need to increase the denunciation of such crimes by the latifundio and the old state and to increase support for the combative struggle of the peasants of Rondônia.
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