We, of the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS), a global alliance of grassroots organizations of farmers, indigenous peoples, fisherfolks and other small-scale food producers and their support NGOs, deplore the killing of Marcio Matos, also known as Marcinho, a Brazilian peasant leader, last January 24.
Marcinho’s killing cannot but be related to his leadership of the formation of the Landless Workers’ Movement of Brazil, or the MST, the Movimiento del Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra, in the state of Bahia. Marcinho, as an MST leader, led the landless in occupying lands, implementing agroecology for the poor, empowering the oppressed through progressive education, and other similar actions.
His killing in front of his house and in front of his son is surely meant to send a message of fear to the MST and the landless and farmers of Brazil. We trust that Marcinho’s killing will only instill outrage and resolve among the landless and farmers of Brazil to fight for their rights and for a better society.
We condemn the regime of Michel Temer for resuming and escalating attacks on the farmers, the landless, and other working people of Brazil. With Marcinho’s killing, the regime continues to expose itself as an instrument of monopoly capitalists, especially those hailing from the US, big capitalists in Brazil, and big landlords. It is further fueling the Brazilian people’s desire to remove it from power and make it accountable for its crimes.
Marcinho’s killing is part of an alarmingly growing trend, the killings of farmers worldwide. Farmers in Brazil, Colombia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Palestine, Pakistan, Kenya, South Africa and other parts of the globe are being murdered for fighting for land, life and justice against neoliberal attacks on these. PCFS is currently engaged in a campaign against the killings of farmers worldwide and we are calling on everyone’s support.
We are calling on all food sovereignty activists to condemn Marcinho’s killing and the escalating repression against the working people in Brazil and other countries in Latin America led by neoliberal regimes. Let us persist in strengthening our fights for land and food sovereignty until we can usher in a society that will truly put the interests of the landless and the farmers at the forefront. ###
(Featured photo from https://www.flickr.com/photos/agecombahia/5633047604)