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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 -> Glossary 77 resources (Compiled by Else R P Vieira. Translation © Thomas Burns.)

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Trombas e Formoso, Peasant Revolt of

'"The March Westward" was a political slogan of the Estado Novo, which led multitudes to Goiáis in search of land. In 1948, the occupation of Trombas e Formoso began, a region of fertile, unoccupied land. Peasants resisted a group of farmers and deed-falsifiers (grileiros) who demanded the property of the law. After much suffering and persecution, the peasants decided to organize and contest possession of the area in the courts. It was what they themselves called "the time of legality" (1951-1954). Deceived, they resorted to confrontation and resistance. Based on the organization of nuclei, in which the directions of the organization were discussed and decided, some leaders at the state and national level emerged (José Porfírio, Geraldo Marques, Nego Casseiro, and others), who decided to organize production and marketing. The Associations and Cooperatives then arose. "We see that it is not the land that matters but the collective system of holding the land." The army, in the early days of the military dictatorship that established itself in Brazil on April 1, 1964, occupied Trombas e Formoso and dispersed the population by force' (Calendário Histórico dos Trabalhadores. São Paulo: MST, Setor de Educação. 3a. edição, 1999, p. 38).


November 2002

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