The Landless Movement is one of the most important things that has ever
happened in Brazil. Many of us cherish in our hearts a great hope in its
members, for obliging Brazil to take the agrarian question seriously. The MST
brings together today every type of labourer, as they invade unproductive
estates and live in the poverty imposed on them by the landowners of the
latifundia. What they are asking for is that the government give them
land. In the face of this scandalous affair, the whole of Brazil ought to cry
out. The whole mechanics of Justice and the Police in Brazil, every Brazilian
official mechanism, exists to guarantee the latifundia, those
great estates that lie unproductive, employing no one (2).
1 Editor’s note: Darcy Ribeiro was an eminent Brazilian
anthropologist and writer. He also held the post of Minister of Education. A
researcher and author of several books, amongst which O povo brasileiro/
Brazilian People stands out. He died in 1997.
2 Editor's note: Reprinted from Calendário Histórico
dos Trabalhadores, produced by the Education and Formation Sector of the
MST, with permission.