Célia em Movimento

an E-CHANGER volunteer for 7 years, celia worked until june 2007 for the 'gender sector' of the MST/BA - the rural landless workers movement in the northeastern brazilian state of bahia. from then until june 2010 she worked at the international secretariat of the world march of women in são paulo. although she is no longer a volunteer, she still works in brazil with the WMW and E-CHANGER and will therefore continue to share her professional and personal experiences... enjoy!

18 June 2007

6/05/07 - MST Informa No 134
“Looking Forward to the Fifth National Congress”

Dear friends of the MST,

We are publishing this special edition of MST Informa in order to communicate with our comrades who are active in different peoples’ organizations. We want to speak to you all about the situation of Agrarian Reform in Brazil and also about the realization of the 5th National Congress of the Landless Workers Movement (MST).

Brazil is living in a complex moment in her history. We had an economic model of dependent industrialization that organized our economy for 50 years—and that, at least, made the economy grow. This model entered a crisis. The economy is practically paralyzed for 20 years. The Brazilian elites, more and more subordinated to the interests of foreign capital and the banks, are implementing a new model, based on this financial and international capital. It is called neoliberalism. But this model has just aggravated the problems of the people.

More Agrarian Reform does not fit with an economy that has at its center only exports, banks, and wealthy economic groups. About 200 businesses control the major part of the economy and 78% of all of the exports. Therefore, you all must hear the corporate press talk a lot about how Agrarian Reform is not acceptable.

Agrarian Reform is not only to seize the large plantation (latifúndio), divide it in lots and release it to the countryside’s poor to manage. Agrarian Reform remains more complex because foreign capital, transnational entities, wealthy economic groups control our agriculture to export raw materials, to produce cellulose and energy, for their mode of consumption. However, more than anything Agrarian Reform is necessary. A reorganization of not only the concentration of land in Brazil, but also the skills of production.

5th Congress

The MST is discussing with its bases (grassroots) and its allies a new program of Agrarian Reform. An Agrarian Reform that should begin with the democratization of landed property, but that also organizes a different form of production. Prioritizing the production of food for the internal market combined with an economic model that distributes income.

We want an Agrarian Reform that keeps people in the rural areas, combating the exodus from the countryside, and that guarantees the conditions of life for the people. With education at all levels, good housing and jobs for the youth.

These topics will be discussed in the 5th Congress, between June 11th and 15th, in Brasilia. It would be very good if you all could go to our Congress. Because it would be impossible to unite so many people, we are sending this LETRAVIVA in order to share what will be discussed there, between the approximately 17.5 thousand participants, including landless rural workers, international delegates and observers who are anticipating that this will be the largest Congress in the MST’s history.

Agrarian Reform is not only a problem of the landless, or the MST, or Via Campesina. It is a necessity for all of Brazilian society and, especially for the people, the 80% of the population that lives by their own work and that needs a new model of economic organization with incomes and jobs for all.

Certainly, we will continue in the struggle, together, in the construction of a society more just, fraternal and egalitarian, that is the dream of all honest, diligent Brazilians.

Agrarian Reform: For Social Justice and Popular Sovereignty!

National Leadership of the MST