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The Sights and Voices of Dispossession: The Fight for the Land and the Emerging Culture of the MST (The Movement of the Landless Rural Workers of Brazil)


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Studies, statements & references -> Statements by Intellectuals and Artists 13 resources (Compiled by Else R P Vieira. Translation © Bernard McGuirk.)

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Darcy Ribeiro
(Eminent Brazilian anthropologist and writer. Minister of Education, founder of the University of Brasília. A researcher and author of several books. Translated by Bernard McGuirk.)


For the donation of land
(The MST is important in that it obliges Brazil to take the agrarian question seriously. Scandalous misery imposed by the latifundia that lie unproductive, employing no one.)

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.


November 2002

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