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News > Latin America

The MST, Brazil's Biggest Social Movement, Promises to 'Intensify' Land Occupations in Fight Against Coup

  • In Brasilia, members of the Landless MST workers movement join in protest.

    In Brasilia, members of the Landless MST workers movement join in protest. | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 May 2016

Brazil's largest social movement will launch a new wave of mobilizations against the Senate-imposed government of Michel Temer.

Latin America's largest social movement has promised a new wave of farm occupations in Brazil following President Dilma Rousseff's suspension to stand trial in the Senate, an official with the Landless Workers Movement (MST) said.

The movement, a long-time ally of Rousseff's Workers Party which says it has two million members across Brazil, will target "idle" farm land owned by members of the interim government and its backers, MST spokeswoman Marina do Santos said Tuesday.

MST: Fight Against Brazil Coup Is Now to Be 'Fire Against Fire'

"We will intensify our occupations of unused land," Santos told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview.

"There are many (government) ministers who own unused lands that should be distributed to the people. We have five million families in Brazil who don't have access to land."

Senate-imposed President Michel Temer replaced Rousseff earlier this month after she was suspended to face a Senate trial over irregularities in her government's budget.

Santos would not say which members of Temer's administration would be targeted or exactly when the new round of occupations would begin.

The MST say Rousseff's impeachment amounted to a coup by conservative politicians in South America's largest country.

MST: The True Origin of Brazil's Political Crisis

Across Brazil, Santos said 160,000 families are currently involved in MST-backed land occupations on idle or under-used territory which they want distributed to small farmers.

The MST organizes landless people to occupy unused farms with the hope of gaining formal ownership and the ability to produce food.

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