Brazil: Land and Territory Letter calls for the unification of the agrarian struggle

In the document, the historic programs of the peasant and environmental organizations in the country

Guararema (SP) |
Capitalism is in crisis, has resulted in increased inequality and injustice
Capitalism is in crisis, has resulted in increased inequality and injustice - Pedro Stropasolas

To the Brazilian people, 

As popular movements and unions from rural areas, water and forests; rural workers, researchers, non-governmental organizations, environmentalists, progressive governments´ representatives, political parties and parliamentary leadership, we gathered from June 6 to 8, 2019, in the National School Florestan Fernandes (in the city of Guararema, São Paulo). After assessing the current challenges, we denounce that:

1. Capitalism is in crisis, has resulted in increased inequality, injustice, exclusion, and violence against the people. Capital´s insane fury, in seeking its maintenance, deepens exploitation and increases unemployment, attacks public and natural resources;

2. This has been done through the destruction of rights, the regression of the achievements conquered in the last century, and the privatization and destruction of nature´s common resources. Capital appropriates land, water, biodiversity, minerals, oil and other sources of energy, illegally and illegitimately,  resulting in social and environmental crimes such as those committed by Vale in Mariana and Brumadinho;

3. To implement the ultra-liberal agenda, financial capital and the dominant class, that is anti-nationalist and servile, prevented Lula from participating in the electoral process. They also took action to elect Bolsonaro´s government, manipulating the popular will through various means, especially through the dissemination of fake news and an agenda of hate. Anti-national, privatizing and pro-US interests are evident in the delivery of the Alcântara military base, the Embraer, the Pre-Salt and the Amazon, and the threats of privatization of Banco do Brasil, Correios, Caixa Econômica Federal, Petrobras subsidiaries, among other public companies;

4. The main socio economic consequences of the ultra liberal agenda are: rising unemployment, lower wages, repealing of labor rights, precarization of work, increased slave labor, cuts in social protection and minimum wage policies, such as Bolsa Família, housing, defense of women's and youth rights, cuts in public education and a brutal attack on social security;

5. Complying with the interests of agribusiness, the governments of Temer and Bolsonaro have promoted the dismantling of institutions and the rollback of legislation on human and environmental rights, land tenure, sovereignty and food security, such as the closure of the MDA, the Ministries of Labor and Culture, reformulation of the Secretary of Aquaculture and Fishing, the scrapping of INCRA, FUNAI, IBAMA, ICMBio, the Palmares Foundation and the extinction of social participation councils, such as CONSEA, CONDRAF, National Commission of Agroecology and Organic Production and National Council of Traditional Peoples and Communities;

6. These actions have resulted in increased deforestation, increased exploitation of natural resources, the de-regulation and use of pesticides, violence against women (increased femicide) and against LGBT people, the genocide of black youth and violence in rural areas. At the same time, it also has resulted in the end of agrarian reform actions, the demarcation of indigenous territories, the titling of quilombola territories, the recognition of lands that are traditionally occupied, the reconcentration of lands, the legalization of illegal activities, the reduction of protected areas, the recategorization of areas of conservation by weakening environmental protection, withdrawing rights of fishermen and artisanal fishers, and destroying public policies aimed at the people in rural areas, near bodies of water and in forests.

The seminar participants reaffirm the struggle:

a) In defense of state policies for land reform, complying with the Federal Constitution: expropriation of lands that do not fulfill socio-environmental function for agrarian reform purposes, demarcation of indigenous territories, titling of quilombola territories and recognition of traditionally occupied lands;

b) In defense of socio-environmental policies, also guaranteed by the Constitution: the right to a balanced environment, that is a resource of common use of the people and essential to a healthy life;

c) For the maintenance and expansion of conservation units, guaranteeing the rights of traditional peoples and communities;

d) In defense of territories, land, water, seeds, natural resources, culture, ways of life and well-being;

e) For food, water, territorial, environmental, genetic, energy and mineral sovereignty;

f) For the right to decent work, salary, income, employment, minimum wage for all, against the precarization of work and slave labor;

g) Against pension and retirement reforms, which disproportionately affects women, urban and rural workers, special social security earners and teachers. We defend the maintenance of the social security system and the right to retirement;

h) In defense of free, quality public education at all levels for the entire Brazilian population, highlighting the importance of education and rural schools;

i) Against the rollback in public policies that were hardly conquered by the working class and peoples of rural areas, water and forests;

j) Against the violation of human rights, violence, the deregulation of the right to carry guns, racism, machismo, hate speech and all forms of discrimination;

k) In defense of SUS, for a free, quality, public health system;

With this context, we make a commitment:

a) To people’s sovereignty, the peoples´ territories and the interests of the Brazilian nation, joining the working class as a whole in the defense of state enterprises, public services as a right of all and not mere merchandise, and against Bolsonaro government's submission to US interests;

b) To denounce the selectivity, lack of transparency and social participation in the justice system, and bias of sectors of the judiciary, resulting in violations of basic rights and impunity;

c) To build a new project for rural areas, with a centrality in the subjects - especially women, yoth and black - land and territories, education, food sovereignty, cooperation and agroecology;

d) To produce healthy food at fair prices for the Brazilian people;

e) To the conservation of nature and against the predatory plundering of agro-hydro-mining-business, denouncing environmental setbacks and resisting this destructive economy;

f) To defend comrades and organizations that suffer with criminalization and violence, denouncing all injustice in any part of the country;

g) To the struggle for Lula's freedom, as an expression of respect for the constitutional and democratic rights of all people.

We reaffirm the united struggle for the construction of a just, egalitarian and democratic society. We call on the Brazilian people to resist and fight, participating in upcoming popular mobilizations, the General Strike of June 14 and the March of the Daisies (Marcha das Margaridas) on August 13 and 14.

São Paulo, June 8, 2019


Articulação dos Empregados Rurais do Estado de Minas Gerais - ADERE

Articulação no Semiárido Brasileiro - ASA

Articulação Nacional de Agroecologia - ANA

Articulação Nacional de Agroecologia da Amazônia

Associação Brasileira de Agroecologia - ABA

Associação Brasileira de Juristas pela Democracia - ABJD

Associação Brasileira pela Reforma Agrária - ABRA

Campanha Permanente Contra os Agrotóxicos e Pela Vida

Central Única dos Trabalhadores – CUT

Central UNIcatadores

Comissão Pastoral da Terra - CPT

Confederação Nacional dos trabalhadores rurais Agricultores e Agricultoras Familiares – CONTAG

Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores e Trabalhadoras na Agricultura Familiar - CONTRAF

Conselho Indigenista Missionário - CIMI

Conselho Nacional de Povos e Comunidades Tradicionais - CNPCT

Coordenação Nacional de Articulação das Comunidades Negras Rurais Quilombolas – CONAQ

Escola de Ativismo

Federação de Órgãos para Assistência Social e Educacional - FASE

Fórum dos Gestores e Gestoras Responsáveis pelas Políticas de Apoio à Agricultura Familiar do Nordeste

Fundação Lauro Campos e Marielle Franco

Fundação Perseu Abramo

Grupo Carta de Belém - GCB

Movimento Camponês Popular - MCP

Movimento Ciência Cidadã

Movimento Interestadual de Mulheres Quebradeiras de Coco Babaçú - MICQB

Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens - MAB

Movimento de Pescadores e Pescadora Artesanais - MPP

Movimento de Trabalhadores e Trabalhadoras do Campo – MTC

Movimento dos Pequenos Agricultores – MPA

Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra - MST

Movimento pela Soberania Popular na Mineração - MAM

Movimento Nacional de Direitos Humanos - MNDH

Movimento por Trabalho e Direitos - MTD

Slow Food Brasil

Pastoral da Juventude Rural - PJR

Projeto Brasil Popular

Terra de Direitos

União Nacional das Organizações Cooperativas Solidárias - UNICOPAS

Edited by: Vivian Fernandes | Translation: Aline Piva