Public relations: MST and the movement come together for justice

This Monday (2) morning, recalls a law and demands justice for the murder of farmer Antonio Tavares, who was killed by military police in Paran on May 2, 2000, during the Jaime Larner government. Police released more than 300 injured people.

The anti-murder rally took place at Campo Largo (PR), 108 km from BR-277, where a monument designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer in honor of workers and all victims of the large estate is located. The work is 10 meters high and has been placed near where the massacre took place.

Read more: Monday (2) Act demanding justice for the murder of farmer Antonio Tavares 22 years ago

Among those taking part was Antonio Tavares Irmao, one of Tavares’ brothers. He lives in the Santa Clara settlement, Candoi, in the same area where Antonio Tavares lived with his family. 22 years after the crime, the farmer says he is still hoping for justice and compensation for the family.

“The wife and children were left without a partner. The anger is so great, he was brutally killed in this place, “he said.

Despite the injustice, Tavares was remembered by his brother as one who dedicated himself to the fight for land and justice and who sowed the seeds. “Struggles continue in every country of such social inequality […]. Life is priceless and we hope to guarantee the improvement and dignity of our lives. Our fight is for freedom, land and rights, “he said.


Among the participants in the act was Antonio Tavares Irmao, one of Tavares’ brothers / Photo: Wellington Lennon / MST-PR

The law brings together activists from the landless labor movement (MST), the Latin American School of Agroecology (ELAA), the Popular Movement for Housing (MPM), Terra de Dereitos, and activists from various communities. Earth Mermaids. Workers Party (PT) state deputy professors Lemos and Louisiana Rafagnin also took part in the protest.

:: 22 years later, Antonio Tavares murder case without trial ::

At the end of the activity, the team planted flower and medicinal plant saplings, as a way to honor the towers and decorate the surroundings of the monument. There were also joint efforts to plant trees on gardens and community farms in the MST communities of Paran in memory of the militants.

Historical tradition

In addition to demanding justice, the people have called for the monument to be listed as a historical heritage. Faced with impending job loss due to the removal threat posed by the Postpar Company, located at the memorial where the monument was erected, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights initially ruled in June 2021 that a Brazilian state court would guarantee job security until a final decision is made. Gives.

Learn more: Inter-American court orders Brazil to protect monument at PR in memory of land struggle

The Antonio Tavares case is still awaiting a date for a public hearing in an inter-American court. The hearing will take place between June 13 and July 1 during the 149th General Session of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Antonio Tavares Irma also stressed that the family wants the monument to remain where it is. “As far as death is concerned, we know there is no return, but this monument can stand and people can have free access to it as an inspiration to fight,” he stressed.

For Roberto Baggio, a member of the national leadership of the MST, the monument is a living work that reflects the reality of agrarian reform, condemning the violence of the past and the paralysis and persistence of violence in the present agrarian reform.

Read more: An inter-American court will try the murder of a farmer involved with MST in Paran

“Keeping this moment alive is part of the mystery of survival. It is a work that relates to life, revealing the life of the peasantry and the working class, of those who work. To work, Tavares was killed while fighting for a piece of land, he added a lot for other farmers. This monument reveals a project of society, it is its greatest strength. Food, education, different levels of hope and faith. That is why it is a moment that must be kept alive. It is a moment of remembrance, but of the present because it eats away at the right to life, “said the MST leader.


Several organizations and popular movements were present under the Act / Photo: Wellington Lennon / MST-PR

The court hearing next week will be an important opportunity to recover the historical context of the events and to point out the structural stability that the state will face, guarantees Daisy Ribeiro, Terra de Dereitos’ legal adviser.

“The lawsuit filed by the court indicates that there is no way to talk about democracy and rights that do not deal with the memory, truth and justice aspects of what has already happened, because they have a very current impact,” he said.

Remember the case

Antonio Tavares Pereira died at the age of 38, he was married and the father of five children. The crime happened when about 50 buses with more than 2,000 MST members were heading to the federal capital, May 1 – on their way to agricultural reform to commemorate Labor Day.

Police blockaded the track and prevented the convoy from moving between Campo Largo and Curitiba. Before any bargaining, the police started firing at the workers. Antonio Tavares was hit by Prime Minister Joel de Lima Santa Ana and died the same day.

Only in 2012 did the Paran কোর্ Court of Justice condemn the state of Paran for killing Antonio Tavares. The officer who fired the shots was not immediately available for comment.

:: MST communities of Paran build solidarity garden in honor of Antonio Tavares ::

The deaths and violence at BR-277 were not isolated incidents at the time. The two administrations of Larner, the head of the Paran সরকারের government, were characterized by high rates of violence against rural workers.

Between 1994 and 2002, 502 farmers were arrested, 324 were personally injured, seven were tortured, 47 were threatened with death, 31 were attempted murder, 16 were murdered, 134 were violently evicted and one was abducted. The data is part of a 2003 complaint filed by Terra de Direits, Justica Global, the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) and MST itself to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OAS). .

The numbers explain why the governor became known as the “architect of violence”, a nickname that gave the title of a documentary made at the time.

The investigation found that numerous instances of violence were caused, in part, by the state’s armed wing, partly by the farmers’ private militia and the Rural Democratic Union (UDR).

Learn more: 20 years since the assassination of Antonio Tavares: portrait of a model of state violence

For Darcy Frigo, president of the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) and present in the law, the persecution of Antonio Tavares and MST members in 2000 is still a reality that the country has not been able to overcome. . He described the scenario as “quite unfavorable” for human rights defenders.

“The process of criminalization and impunity was not enough for those who used violence and threats against the workers. Our country lacks a public policy condemned by the defenders, as well as a policy to protect the rights defenders in the country. “, He said.

Source: BDF Parana

Edited by Leah Bianchini

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