My Crime Is My Struggle: Four MST Members Imprisoned for Protesting

Since November 2016 four members of the Brazilian Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) have been in prison, and another seven could be imprisoned at any moment, for protesting against public land grabbing and supporting the use of this land for agrarian reform.

Fabiana Braga, Claudelei Torrente Lima, Antonio Cloves Ferreira and Claudir Braga, members of the Brazilian Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST), live in encampments and settlements in the municipalities of Rio Bonito do Iguaçu and Quedas do Iguaçu, in the state of Paraná. These leaders have been held in preventive detention since November 4. The Civil Police of the State of Paraná carried out this process, which has been named Operation Castrate. This name reveals, on its own, the real objective of the operation: to “castrate” the MST’s actions in the region.  Read more about the MST political prisoners.

The Brazilian Committee of Human Rights Defenders along with other Brazilian and international organizations have launched a campaign to free the MST political prisoners (Fabiana Braga, Claudelei Torrente Lima, Antonio Cloves Ferreira and Claudir Braga). This campaign is titled “MY CRIME IS TO STRUGGLE!” The MST prisoners have been held in pre-trial detention without the possibility of release for almost 6 months. Please read about the campaign and sign the petition demanding the judge revoke the order of pretrial detention, send messages of support to the prisoners and publicize this struggle. Please note that the petition is in Portuguese.The English Translation is available here. 

For more background information on the arrests and the Brazilian government’s attempt to supress dissent, click HERE.
For campaign materials that can be printed out or posted on social media, click HERE.
The Friends of the MST thanks Brasil do Fato, newspaper of the social movements of the left, for creating the website in support of the political prisoners. Check out “My Crime is to Struggle” website, which has an English language option.

The winner will receive an 11×14 archival print of this photo of a ringed kingfisher overlooking the ancient araucaria forest in Parque Huerquehue in Chile. Ringed kingfishers require large bodies of clean water and dense forest and migrate between the US and Chile.