Democrats worldwide should in no uncertain terms defend the freedom of Brazilian peasant Luzivaldo de Souza Araújo, 42 years old, and his brother Robélio, 30 years old.They are languishing behind in prison unjustly since 2019, being framed of staging a conspiracy, where the big landlords are in complete control of the region. Peasant Luzivaldo de Souza Araújo and his brother Robélio, were be taken to a jury on June 26, in Campina Verde, Minas Gerais according to information from the Brazilian Association of People’s Lawyers Gabriel Pimenta.
Luzivaldo is amongst people’s fighters in Brazil, who are waging a battle for the destruction of the large estates and preservation of secular system of land concentration in the country. The framed charges imposed against Luzivaldo and his brother, symbolise an integral plot manipulated by big landlords in the region, to try to subvert the struggle for a piece of land to intensify.. Luzivaldo was the shield obstructing the landlords robbing land in the region Since he refused to buckle to be on the side of the landowners, he set a living example to the peasants of the São José da Boa Vista Area in Campina Verde, in the Triângulo Mineiro and its region.
The entire accusation against Luzivaldo is based on “anonymous statements” and “hearsay”, which illustrates the partiality of the trial, added to the fact that the region is vitiated by monopoly of great impact from the landowners. Therefore a large part of the local population is affected by the continuous conflicts between peasants and landowners that have engulfed the region for decades.
Luzivaldo and his brother have been languishing in prison for four years after being fabricated, of involvement in the murder of rural worker Danilo Silva, in November 2018. The peasant played a role as an important coordinator of the São José da Boa Area Vista, organized by the Liga dos Camponeses Pobres (LCP) in Campina Verde for over 10 years, and shaped powerful resistance various attempts to recapture the area.
Luzivaldo’s brother, Robélio, 30, will also be taken to court, which proves that this is a political process, as he is not even mentioned by the police officer who allegedly “heard it from someone” that peasant Luzivaldo had committed the crime.
Luzivaldo is still imprisoned with no valid reason, without evidence, and fabricated with a crime he did not commit. It is t being clear that his imprisonment is due to the fact that he is a peasant leader, who for almost 10 years unflinchingly resisted the various attempts to reclaim the Area São José da Boa Vista, where he shaped the struggle the right to land. This was ample proof that his imprisonment is political. Luzivaldo literally sent shivers down the spine of the ruling classes.
Luzivaldo’s case is an illustrative portrayal of Brazil’s grave situation, in which the old State patronises maximum oppression against the struggling peasant masses to subvert advance of land seizures. When it is unable to carry out murders, massacres or merciless eviction, the government resorts to the arrest of leaders and leaders, manipulating fraudulent processes and judicial manoeuvres to entrap the people’s fighters. It testifies the farcical nature of the judicial process, which criminalises the struggle for land.
The Old Brazilian bureaucratic State patronises collaboration between the big bourgeoisie and the landowners, at the service of US imperialism, to continue perpetrating the most barbaric crimes against the people.
Framing with Anonymous Accusations
Luzivaldo is languishing in prison, sentenced with fabricated charges .The prosecution presented witnesses who did not witness anything, only “heard it said”, and made “anonymous” accusations, where not even the “motivation” of the crime was projected .This appeared in the complaint of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and is repeated by the sentence naming more than one possible motivation, which in itself forms a legal loathing .Ironic, that all these legal inventions were denied by witnesses.
The process, devoid of any concrete evidence, was based on anonymous connections and arguments given by the police officers that they “heard” about Luzivaldo’s involvement. Furthermore, when projecting the “evidence”, the officers were not able to recount basic details about the information, on whether the anonymous reports had been given in person or over the phone.
The judges, when denying the revocation of the preventive detention and the annulment of the indictment, based themselves on the fact that the crime had occurred in a settlement area. This perfectly manifested the criminalization of the peasant movement by the judicial system:
“As this is a crime committed in a settlement area, marked by bloody disputes and where the well-known ‘Law of Silence’ prevails, it is necessary to highlight what could be found during the investigation of the crime.”
It must be mentioned that the crime in debate did not even occur in a region of agrarian conflict, but on a nearby farm. Thus it has nothing to do with land occupation, but only for those seeking to criminalize it.
Since his arrest (almost four years) Brazilian Association of Lawyers of the People together with Brazilian Center for Solidarity with the Peoples , National Commission of the League of Poor Peasants, unions, students and democrats from all over Brazil have been protesting and demanding his immediate release.
During the time in prison Luzivaldo has frequently been a victim of abuse. He spent days hospitalized, due to a liver problem. With a chronic condition, he needed, according to medical recommendations, a special diet, which never took place.
Several complaints were forwarded, which even generated a request for information and measures from the Human Rights Commission of the Legislative Assembly of Minas Gerais, led by Deputy Andreia de Jesus.
As a part of the campaign, dozens of e-mails of protest were sent to the Governor MG Romeu Zema; to the Presidency of the Court of Justice of Minas Gerais, to the Prisons Department of Minas Gerais, to the State Council of Defence of the Human Rights and to the Commission of Human Rights of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Minas Gerais.
Harsh Thakor is freelance journalist who has studied International liberation movements and democratic rights violations .Thanks information from Brazilian Association of Lawyers of the People, Red Herald and A Nova Democarcia.