Issued by the Office of the Chairperson
International League of Peoples´ Struggle
February 6, 2018
The International League of People’s Struggles or ILPS, an international coalition of anti-imperialist and democratic organizations of the working classes and peoples, strongly condemns the cold-blooded murder of Marcio “Marcinho” Matos, a leader of Brazil’s Movimiento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra or MST for the state of Bahia on January 24, 2018.
Marcinho’s murder outside of his home in the Chapada Diamantina region, at the age of 34, in front of his son, and through three gunshot wounds in his head, is most revolting. It is the latest addition to the growing list of peasant leaders and activists in Brazil, many belonging to the progressive MST, who are being murdered for fighting for land, life and justice for the landless.
We point our fingers at the regime of Michel Temer, a servant of US imperialism, of big foreign and local capitalists and big landlords, for Marcinho’s murder. After the 2016 golpe, this regime has sought to push back the gains made by the landless and other working classes in their struggle. It has harassed, imprisoned and murdered peasant leaders and activists and other progressives and anti-imperialists in Brazil. It is trying to fulfill the dictates of US imperialism and the Brazilian ruling classes and at the same time maintain itself in power by attacking its most vocal critics.
We express our condolences to Marcinho’s family, friends and comrades in the MST and the struggle of the landless in Brazil. We express our whole-hearted support to MST and its allied organizations struggling alongside the exploited and oppressed but fighting classes in Brazil. By murdering Marcinho and other peasant leaders and activists, the US and ruling classes inadvertently push farmers and people to further wage militant struggles. They will be proven wrong in believing that such attacks will stop peasant movements and struggles as the oppressed, especially the youth, will continue the struggle.
We are calling on all ILPS member-organizations and progressive and anti-imperialist organizations of the world to condemn Marcinho’s murder and the worsening attacks on the peasant and working-class movements in Brazil and Latin America. This and other attacks against one of the strongest and militant peasant organizations in the world are an attack on all of us, and on the peasants and peoples of the world.
We are also calling on the farmers and peoples of the world to intensify our struggles against landgrabbing, for genuine land reform, and for an agriculture that truly serves the people and not big capitalist profit. Let us continue to expand and strengthen our organizations so that we can replace the rotting status quo with a new social system where justice, equality and freedom truly reign.###