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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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Frei Betto
(Dominican priest, journalist and the author of 45 published books. Prominent role in the Base Ecclesial Communities. Translated by Bernard McGuirk.)


Recipe for Killing the Landless
(Poem: public carelessness, the greed of the grileiros (land-grabbers), the impunity of assassins.)

Take a rural worker
Unplanted from his land,
Strip the leaves of his rights,
Mix him up with road dust
And lay him in the sun to dry.
Drop him, in an instant,
In the common pit of discard.
Stir in the slur of riot.
Spill the pot of horror on the poor
’Til the mix is thick with terror.
Add a dash of ill-omen
And sprinkle, speculating,
Threatening strips of toll-charge.
Leave to set in silence
Grileiro-grabber land-greed,
Lands left fallow,
Assassin saga
Of war-sowers
Boil down the lies
In official cauldrons
’Til density’s settled
In a national network.
Serve up repression
With impunity
On the latifundium’s estately tray.


November 2002

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