The visit is in response to an increase in intimidation and violence against activists
[Translation of an article from Brasil de Fato for March 28, 2013. See original here.]
An international delegation from the “Alternative Nobel Prize” (Right Livelihood Award) will visit Brazil between April 1 and 4 to seek justice and clarification of crimes committed against members of the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais sem Terra (MST – Landless Workers’ Movement) and the Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT – Pastoral Land Commission).
The visit is in response to the increase in cases of intimidation and violence against social activists in Brazil. In a single year the number of activists in the country receiving threats increased by 117.6 percent. The delegation will visit the city of Marabá, in Pará, in the northern region of the country.
Among the members of the international group are two recipients of the Alternative Nobel Prize, Angie Zelter, a representative of the British organization Trident Ploughshares (awarded in 2001) and the Argentine biologist Raúl Montenegro (in 2004). Also participating will be Marianne Andersson, a member of the Directing Board of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation and former member of the Swedish parliament. She says, “The delegation will come to express solidarity with Brazilian activists, to denounce the crimes and attacks that social activist in this country are being subjected to and to demand the immediate implementation of agrarian reform.”
Violence in the fields
The choice of Pará to receive the delegation’s visit is due to the fact that the state has the highest rate of what is called slave labor and of threats against defenders of human rights, according to the report of a 2005 investigation by the International Federation for Human Rights. The CPT reports that of 29 assassinations of Brazilian rural activists in 2011, twelve were in Pará. Furthermore, according the the MST, there is a strong climate of impunity in the region.
The CPT confirms that the number of activists in the country being threatened increased from 125 to 347 between 2010 and 2011, according to the report “Conflictos no Campo: Brasil.” The most recent case of an attack against a Brazilian activist involved in the struggle for agrarian reform was the assassination of Cicero Guedes, an MST leader, shot to death in Rio de Janeiro by gunmen who are as yet unidentified.
The delegation will take part in a public debate on the impunity that human rights violators enjoy. The event will be held in the Universidade do Estado do Pará in Marabá on April 2…
[You can subscribe to an RSS feed for this website. Click here.]