On the occasion of the important 25th anniversary of the resistance of the peasants of Corumbiara in Brazil the redaction-collective of New Epoch Media publishes following article, to support the struggle of the League of Poor Peasants in Brazil and to help to spread their experiences to all oppressed and exploited in the world, to learn from this struggle and get strength to develop further the revolutionary struggle.
We recommend to all our readers also to look at the declaration from the League of Poor Peasants of Rondônia and Western Amazonia (LCP), the Committee for the defense of the victims of Santa Elina (CODEVISE) and the Union of the Workers and Rural Workers of Corumbiara (STTR). Press here to see the brochure for that important anniversary and for the murdered heros of this struggle.
Long live the 25th anniversary of the heroic resistance of the Corumbiara peasants! Long live the League of Poor Peasants!
„The reaction thinks it will always defeat the masses, but the peasants have learned much and will struggle, not according to the provocation of their sworn enemies, but in their own way, in their own manner, and at the moment that best suits them they will inevitably give their fight, arms in hand. And for the peasants, to survive, is to conquer a piece of land to work on!“ (League of Poor Peasants) The 9th of August 2020 marked the 25th anniversary of the heroic resistance of the Corombiara peasants. This heroic struggle of the peasantry gave birth to a new type of peasant movement in Brazil, from which the organization of the League of Poor Peasants of Rondônia and Western Amazonia arose. This heroic resistance of the peasants put the struggle for land on a new and higher foundation, as it broke with all opportunistic practices which, through negotiations with the authorities, have betrayed the struggle of the peasants. We salute the celebrations of the League of Poor Peasants, heiress of the heroic resistance of Corumbiara, and all who struggle side by side with the poor peasants in this ranks!
What was planned 25 years ago in Corumbiara as a big blow by the large landowners in cooperation with the authorities of the old state against the peasantry, ended in a great resistance struggle of the peasants, which spread its waves far over Corumbiara. A planned massacre to drown the struggle of the peasantry in blood, gave rise to the resistance from over 600 families who opposed the plans of the ruling classes. The planned massacre was turned into a struggle against the big landowners and for the distribution of the land to the poor peasants. These 600 families occupied the old Santa Elina Farm, which was in the hands of a large landowner family, while the peasant families had no land and were thus at the mercy of misery and oppression by the large landowners. This land is part of the Nossa Senhora estate, which comprises over 6,000 hectares of land. Because of the large landownership, the land is only used in the interests of a minority who do not produce in the interests of the Brazilian people, but to enrich themselves and the imperialist robbers. The struggle against large landownership is a deeply justified concern of the poor and landless peasants in Brazil and is nourished by the feudal conditions that oppress the peasantry. Heavily armed, the big landowners and their servants tried to drown this democratic cause in blood, but the peasants resisted with everything they had. More than eleven farmers were murdered and many disappeared, hundreds struggled with the physical and psychological consequences of this attack, the abuse and torture. The heroic resistance alone prevented many more deaths. Shortly afterwards, the brave call of the peasants resounded: “Let's take Santa Elina back!”. The murdered live on in the struggle.
Today we not only celebrate the heroic struggle of the farmers 25 years ago, but also this call of the peasants “Let's take Santa Elina back!” has been accomplished. On the 16th of August, a week after the 25th anniversary, this longing dream of the struggling peasants of Corumbiara came true. After the great victories of the peasant movement under the leadership of their organization “League of Poor Peasants”, large areas of the land of the landowners were expropriated and given to the peasants. This is how the revolutionary areas of Zé Bentão, Renato Nathan, Alzira Monteiro, Alberico Carvalho and Maranatã 1 and 2 were created and now the complete retaking of Santa Elina has been completed after 25 years of struggle. This means that hundreds of families now have their own land on which they can work and thus also produce important food for the population of the region. This example attracted many more families who, deeply impressed by this success, joined the struggle to distribute the land to the peasants. This victory is a victory against the large landownership, which, together with foreign imperialism, enriched themselves from the poverty of large sections of the peasantry. It is a victory for the oppressed and exploited in Brazil, who take their fate into their own hands and struggle for the justified interests of the majority of the country. This victory is therefore also a strong sign to all poor and landless peasants worldwide, to the working class of all countries and to the oppressed and exploited who stand in the struggle against imperialism and reaction. These 25 years of resistance and struggle prove in a lively way that the revolutionary path is not straight and does not happen spontaneously. The struggle is long-lasting, but it will bring victories and bear fruit if it leans on the masses and creates an organization to direct and lead this struggle. The blood of the fallen heroes thus marked the path for the revolutionary transformation of the country, in order to smash the large landownership once and for all. It marked the path for the development of the Agrarian Revolution, for the New Democratic Revolution, which is directed against feudalism and imperialism. Let's learn also today from these experiences! Long live international solidarity!
With the massive aggravation of the general crisis of capitalism, which also means the aggravation of the crisis of bureaucratic capitalism, we see even more clear the necessity to learn from these examples! In Brazil still today the big landowners and the other ruling classes try to suppress the struggles of the peasantry, the working class and the masses in order to shift the burdens of the crisis on them. Harassment of the poor peasantry and small owners, price increases, the destruction of the Amazon rainforests which are the habitat of the indigenous people, but also attacks against the workers, where today more than 50 million are unemployed, are just a few examples of why the heroic example of Corumbiara is still so important today. The struggle of the peasants of Corumbiara must be an example to us, that the working class and the people can achieve anything if they organize themselves in struggle and fight resolutely for their interests. Not only in Brazil, all over the world, the rulers are carrying out massive attacks against the working class and the masses, intensifying exploitation and repression. With trust in their own strength, the mobilization and organization of the masses for their interests, the working class and the people’s masses can advance and achieve victories. Wherever the masses organize and produce leadership, there is a way to fight against exploitation and oppression. International solidarity gives us the opportunity to learn from these heroic examples here too, to struggle in the determined spirit of the Corumbiara peasants for the just concerns of the workers and the people and to create an organization that makes such victories possible! Long live the 25th anniversary of the heroic struggle of the Corumbiara peasants! Long live the murdered heroes who gave their blood for the just struggle! Long live the reconquest of Santa Elina! Long live the League of Poor Peasants! Long live the New Democratic Revolution! Long live international solidarity!