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News > Brazil

Brazil's 'Women Without Land' Movement Denounces Violence, Occupies João de Deus State

  •  Landless Worker's Movement (MST) and Popular Farmer Movement (MCP) protests, Brazil, 13/03/2019

    Landless Worker's Movement (MST) and Popular Farmer Movement (MCP) protests, Brazil, 13/03/2019 | Photo: Comunicação MCP

Published 13 March 2019

Women from Brazil's landless worker's movement (MST) and Popular Farmer Movement (MCP) met in order to denounce injustice they have been suffering for many years. 

A total of 800 women from "Sin Tierra" organization occupied Wednesday one of the "haciendas" or farms of known sexual predator,"João de Deus," in Anapolis, in the State of Goias, in central Brazil. 

The women from diverse social movements have occupied this territory in order to protest against the murder of the activist and councilor of Rio de Janeiro Marielle Franco a year ago. They were also protesting against sexual abuses and gender inequality the Brazilian women are suffering for years.

RELATED:Marielle Franco’s Partner Wants to Know Who Ordered Her Murder

Marielle Franco, an Afro-Brazilian lesbian and feminist socialist councilwoman, who was critical of police violence and the right-wing government, was assassinated in Rio de Janeiro along with her driver Anderson Gomes the night of March 14, two weeks after she was named a rapporteur in a special commission to monitor military intervention in Rio de Janeiro.

Just days ahead of the anniversary of her murder, the country's authority announced the arrest of two former policemen who are accused of killing Franco.

One of the detainees, the military police officer Ronnie Lessa, is suspected of being the shooter that killed the councilor of Rio de Janeiro. Investigators revealed that he had personal connections to the family of President Jair Bolsonaro.

The other detainee, Elcio Vieira de Queiroz, who had been expelled from the military police, is accused of driving the car from which the crime was carried out.

The women movement chose the farm of 76-year-old João Teixeira de Farias. known as João de Deus, to occupy due to the man's alleged infamous history of sexual abuse and corruption. The Brazilian became famous in his home country and abroad for offering spiritual treatments, since the 1970s.

In 2018, João Teixeira de Farias was accused of sexual and gender-based violence. Since then, more than 500 women have came to the police to denounce sexual abuses. Most reported of alleged aggression occurred during assistance work at Casa Dom Inacio de Loyola, in Abadiânia, in Goias state. In addition to the complaints in the state of Goiás, women from different states of Brazil and six other countries reported abuses.

In a public declaration, the Public Prosecutor's Office declared they have registered harassment cases since 2010. One of the first accusations come from his own daughter, Dalva Teixeira, 45 years old, who claimed to have suffered sexual abuse by her father between 9 and 14.

Comunicação MCP

In addition, João de Deus was accused of charlatanism, the seduction of minors, indecent assault, contraband of minerals, and murder. Influential among the authorities, in none of the cases was he found guilty.

Nobody knows the size of João de Deus's fortune, which includes companies, cars, houses, haciendas, and monoculture fields of cattle and soybeans and a plane and Seneca II of six places, also a gold mine in Nova Era, Minas Gerais State.

For all these reasons, "Women Without Land today occupy the Inacio Agropastoral Farm, which is the result of abuse, rape and violence," the movement reported in a written statement. 

According to the United Nations, Brazil has one of the highest femicide rates in the world.

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