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5 December 2007

Riot police invades camp and fires against Landless

Riot police invades camp and fires against Landless


Riot police invaded the camp Elizabeth Teixeira, in Park Tatu, Limeira (close to Campinas), São Paulo, to evict 250 families camping in the area today. The violent action of the police left three people wounded, among them was the member of the national directorship of the MST, Gilmar Mauro, who was shot by a rubber bullet.

The eviction started in the morning of the 29th. A large police contingent arrived at the camp destroying the huts. The policeman violently refused to negotiate with the Landless. During the chock the police fired against the families, including a disabled man on a wheel chair, who had to be carried.

Gilmar Mauro, who is recovering, lost a piece of his ear, which has already being surgically stitched back. "The violence used had no precedent; they came after us like mad. After the first tear gas, we retreated but we had no idea that they would attack us. First, First they fired a rubber bullet and it reached my stomach, but did not enter, then I was running and I felt my ear was hot, when I touched it, I noticed that it was bleeding", he says.

Gilmar reports that, even though he was wounded, he was arrested in the camp and taken to the police car under insults and mocking by the police. "They made me run to the police car and after a phone call, they gave up taking me to the police station."

According to Cláudia Praxedes, state member of the directorship for the Movement who was also present, besides the fact that the policemen did not dialogue with the landless, they also ignored, priests, representatives of local councils and the Child pastoral. "After the violence, they denied medical assistance to the people who were wounded by their bullets", reports Claudia. Gilmar reports that the policeman did not stop shooting even when there were numerous children crying.

The City of Limeira received a court order for recovering the area, even though the city has not claim on the area - the land belongs to the Union. The National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) promised to the families that it would negotiate to avoid the eviction. The landless hold INCRA, the City of Limeira and the governor José Serra (PSDB) accountable for the situation.

The Secretariat for Public Security from São Paulo state informed that the action was coordinated by the military in the region of Limeira, and not the riot police. According to the MST though, the riot police was in charge of the eviction.


The camp Elizabeth Teixeira was established on April 21st this year. The Park Tatu, which formerly belonged to the Federal Railway System, has been incorporated into the Union. The court order for the reintegration of the site, given to the city of Limeira by the judge Flávio Dassi Viana is illegal, since the park belongs to the Union.

The city of Limeira, never had the title of the area, and uses some of the spaces of the Park to perform activities that degrade the environment. Inside of the park there is a "rubbish dump", that is operating in inadequate conditions and further damaging the already polluted river Tatu, which runs through the city of Limeira and meets Piracicaba River.

Due to the situation, the families organized yesterday afternoon, November 28th, a rally in the camp to state their determination to resist and remain in the area. The rally also demanded for the area to be immediately used for the Agrarian Reform. The families there are in the camp were already farming vegetables and greens in the area.


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