Brazilian farmers' occupation kicks off 'Red April' protests

Landless peasants attend MST meeting
Landless peasants attend MST meeting

Landless Brazilian farmers have begun a series of coordinated protest actions, occupying properties belonging to a large paper firm.

Submitted by Ed on April 10, 2007

News reports said on Tuesday that around 200 members of the Landless Workers' Movement (MST) on Monday evening peacefully occupied a property belonging to the Suzano company in Itanpenitinga in Sao Paulo state. A second property was also occupied in Bonito, in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco.

The MST plans a series of similar actions - dubbed 'Red April' - to protest alleged environmental damage by the large paper firms and also what it describes as the slow pace of land reform in Brazil.

The protests are set to climax April 17 with a mass rally commemorating 11 years since the killing of 19 small farmers by police in Eldorado dos Carajas, located in the state of Para. Despite international indignation the two officers responsible for the police action remain free pending trial.