Letter from the mst to the brazilian people

The Lula Government will have the fundamental challenge of facing the basic needs of the people on an emerging basis, such as the fight against hunger
Document denounces hunger, environmental crimes and calls for public policies to encourage the production of healthy foods. Photo MST-MS

From the MST web site

Brazil is experiencing the worst crisis in its history, which manifests itself in the economy, in society, in the increase in social inequality, in environmental crimes, in hunger, in despair and lack of perspective that affects more than 70 million workers. All this has deepened in the last six years, after the coup against the Dilma government and the four years of a neoliberal government with fascist and authoritarian practices.

Lula’s political victory in the last elections revealed the willingness of the majority of Brazilians to change course, to return to democratic paths, to solve the urgent problems of the Brazilian population. This victory was the result of a broad social alliance of all progressive forces and will certainly also mark a Broad Front government, with the most diverse sectors represented there.

The Lula Government will have the fundamental challenge of facing the basic needs of the people on an emerging basis, such as the fight against hunger, unemployment, and heavy investments in education and health. And in the medium term, discuss with all of society a new project for the country, based on reindustrialization and agriculture that produces healthy food, the only way to resume economic growth with social justice.

In agriculture, three models for organizing production have been facing each other for decades. The predatory latifundio, which enriches itself with real estate speculation and the appropriation of natural wealth; agribusiness, which produces only agricultural commodities for export, is concentrated in just five products (soy, corn, sugarcane, cotton and cattle). Farmers get rich, but don’t pay taxes to society thanks to export exemptions. They harm nature with deforestation, the use of pesticides and monoculture. And the third model is family farming, which uses family labor to protect nature and dedicate itself to producing food for their families and for the domestic market.          

Our Federal Constitution demands that land fulfill its social function, producing rationally, respecting labor legislation and the environment. Just like our Constitution, we always claim that large estates are antisocial and should be banned and that agribusiness needs to assume its socio-environmental responsibility, adapt to the needs of society, pay taxes, stop using pesticides and provide dignified conditions for its workers.

We support family farming and within it the distribution of land on large estates, especially in the vicinity of cities, so that peasant families that produce food can multiply.

We support zero deforestation. We don’t need to cut down any more trees. What we really need is an urgent National Reforestation Plan, planting millions of trees throughout the country, in all biomes, in the countryside and in the cities. Necessary condition to combat the climate changes that afflict the population in every territory and the entire planet.

We demand that the new government urgently implement several public policy measures – such as the Food Acquisition and School Feeding Programs – seeking food sovereignty and for the immediate expansion of healthy food production throughout the country. And that mechanisms be used to increase income, via Bolsa Familia, and increase the minimum wage and employment so that the people can feed themselves with dignity.

We demand the stimulation of agroecology as a technological model that seeks to produce healthy food without harming nature, generating more jobs and improving the physical productivity of crops, thus ensuring health for our people.

We support an urgent program to implement agricultural machinery for family farming so that we can increase labor productivity, reducing human sacrifice.

We defend the implementation of a broad program of cooperative agro-industries in all municipalities, to process food and generate jobs and income for women and young people in the countryside.

We must combat all forces of exploitation in the countryside, such as slave labor, and the terrible conditions of wage earners without labor rights. We must combat gold mining and the perverse action of mining companies that destroy our environment and natural wealth solely for private profit. The goods of nature must be subordinated to the needs of all people.

We defend a broad program of education and culture in rural areas that gives opportunities to all people, especially young people, that eradicates illiteracy, offering all forms of schooling in the interior of the country, that preserves and promotes the cultural manifestations and expressions of the people.

We will struggle and denounce all forms of violence, discrimination, racism, misogyny, LGBT-phobia and religious intolerance that were fueled by fascist Bolsonarism.

We will take these proposals and ideas to the next Lula administration and we will contribute in every possible way so that they are applied.

Our greatest mission is to continue organizing the people, so that they fight for their rights, enshrined in the 1988 Constitution, because we know that without popular mobilization there will be no real change in the country.

These are our commitments, which we would like to reaffirm for all of Brazilian society, in times of crisis and necessary changes.

Brazil, November 29, 2022.