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The Sights and Voices of Dispossession: The Fight for the Land and the Emerging Culture of the MST (The Movement of the Landless Rural Workers of Brazil)

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Emerging culture by media type -> Lyrics 88 resources (Edited by Else R P Vieira)

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History: Massacres and martyrs

Author:

MBGC: The Manos da Baixada de Grosso Calibre (Large Calibre Brothers of the Baixada)
(a favela (slum) hip-hop group in Belém, capital of the State of Pará.)
(Translated by Bernard McGuirk)

Title:

Eldorado dos Carajás


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1996
Wednesday, the seventeenth of April
Eldorado dos Carajás, in the south of Pará, Brazil
Where only God knows what's happening
And on highway 150, at the "S" bend,
1200 landless for more than a day
Block the road, claiming as best as they know
The disappropriation of Macaxeira
Forty thousand hectares with a single owner
An estate left to weed
Fruitless latifundium, property vast
Serving speculators' interest first and last
Yet the unyielding owner
Is now disposed to cede
To 800 families for whom lands are but dreams

They try at all costs to hold their heads high
Even when starving, struggling to eat
A people simple, poor, without means,
Of "agrarian reform" talk they've grown so tired
The land put to use is all they desired
INCRA won't give credit, won't resettle and its deadlines will not keep
And the government acts as if their lives were cheap
Insensitive to their plight
And with a deep disdain for human life
Planning the unthinkable
As the killing hour draws nigh

Refrain
No peace without justice
There'll be no peace
Eldorado dos Carajás
No peace without justice
There'll be no peace
Eldorado dos Carajás

From Paraupebas, from Marabá
Come two squadrons of Military Police,
Colonel Mário Pantoja,
With his brigand band,
Two hundred men with menace armed,
With hand-guns, shot-guns, machine-guns, rifles
Stealthily, furtive, arriving unseen
Ready to kill the defenceless it stifles
Thirsting for blood and, so it would seem,
Unjustified violence about to unleash
Hazards of office, killing's a job
All in dread, the tension mounts
Each second decisive, every minute counts
But come what may
The landless won't budge
They'll resist to the utmost
While Senhor Almir Gabriel's only bother
Is to defend the latifundium, the herds and the fodder
His order has that tone of menace
Whatever the cost, today's the day

Refrain
No peace without justice
There'll be no peace
Eldorado dos Carajás
No peace without justice
There'll be no peace
Eldorado dos Carajás

And all of a sudden the police have pounced
Treacherous, cowardly, underhand
At 4.15 in the afternoon
The time's run out
Full siege is at hand
Hired heavies
Have left no room
For resistance though the landless have tried
But it's oh so clear
This was the excuse
To fire the first shot
And from then on, what?
Cold-blooded executions
Scenes from civil war,
Cruelty unlimited
Cruelty refined,
For against such force
No argument's aligned
Even less so when
From one firing squad alone.

Fourteen minutes' non-stop shooting
Hot lead… and bone,
Amidst the tumult rose crying and shouting
From those from the conflict attempting to flee
"Run, run!" was the shout, "God help us!" the plea,
Desperate people help implored
And worst of all the signs assured
It was all thought out
From the first
All the bullets had the right address
And the shots all fired at short range couldn't miss
So typical of an extermination squad, Oh boy,
It just didn't matter who stood in their way

Men, women, children, it was all the same
Because with impunity, at random, they shot.
They never choose the victim,
They never give a damn for human pain,
Lourival couldn't run, stood fixed,
Confused, he was hit in the chest,
Falling forward, dead,
Robson was dragged by the hair
Though guilty of nothing.
And even after he'd subdued
Oziel by the colonels was to death still sworn
Handcuffed, beaten, punched and kicked
Then shot three times and left to die
As the rural workers he met the same sad end
Whose final result in that battle for land
Was sixty-one wounded and nineteen dead
Victims all of bloody violence and the brutal police
Whose summary executions made a tragedy to compare
With those of Carandiru, Candelária, Vigário Geral, Corumbiara.

And Eldorado dos Carajás is yet another show
Of just how far they're prepared to go
Public opinion, their judge, was, quickly, national
Causing ripples international
But after a while
All was forgotten
That must be the reason no one's surprised
No accused to this day arrested or tried.

Refrain
No peace without justice
There'll be no peace
Eldorado dos Carajás
No peace without justice
There'll be no peace
Eldorado dos Carajás

This song is from the CD A song for peace

 to CD

Date:

November 2002

Resource ID:

ELDORADO504

Glossary

Compiled by Else R P Vieira. Translation © Thomas Burns.

Candelária
'An important Catholic church in the city of Rio de Janeiro. In July 1993, there was a massacre outside the church, when eight street children were murdered. This fact stirs the indignation of popular movements until today, for which reason Candelária was transformed into a representation of the struggle against violence in the city and the country' (Fernandes, Bernardo Mançano. Pequeno Vocabulário da Luta pela Terra. Unpublished). 

Carandiru, Massacre of
‘On October 2, 1992, in São Paulo … the brutal murder of 111 convicts of Pavilion 9, in the Carandiru Penitentiary, occurred … The criminals responsible for the massacre received as punishment demotion in rank or removal from positions’ (Calendário Histórico dos Trabalhadores. São Paulo: MST, Setor de Educação. 3a. edição, 1999, p.70). 

Corumbiara, Massacre of
'In the early morning of August 9, 1995, a contingent of 300 policemen from the Special Operations Command (COE) of Rondonia, attacked 500 Sem Terra families who had occupied the Fazenda Santa Elina, in Corumbiaria. This massacre, which shocked the nation, resulted in nine Sem Terra people dying, including a seven year old girl and two policemen, as well as nineteen wounded and several missing’(Calendário Histórico dos Trabalhadores. São Paulo: MST, Setor de Educação. 3a. edição, 1999, p. 59-60). 

Eldorado de Carajás, Massacre of
'Carajás is a region located in the southeast of Pará. It got its name from the Carajás hills, where formerly the indigenous people of that name lived; the regional center is the city of Marabá. In the municipality of Paraupebas, a massacre of 19 Sem Terra people took place, perpetrated by the state police and the landowners, on April 17, 1996, during a demonstration on the local highway. In March, 1998, eight of the same policemen were involved in the murder of two more MST leaders of the region’ (Fernandes, Bernardo Mançano e Stedile, João Pedro. Brava gente: a trajetória do MST e a luta pela terra no Brasil. São Paulo: Editora Fundação Perseu Abramo, 1999, p. 144, n. 13). 

INCRA - National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform
‘Created in 1970 during the military government of General Emílio Garrastazu Médici, to be the executive organ of agrarian reform. It was extinguished in 1987, during the first government of the New Republic - of José Sa rney - and recreated in 1989, by the same administration. Today, it is a part of the Ministry of Agrarian Development (MDA). From its foundation, it has undertaken projects of rural colonization and settlement’ (Fernandes, Bernardo Mançano. Pequeno Vocabulário da Luta pela Terra. Unpublished). 

Macaxeira
'Land complex of 50 thousand hectares in the municipality of Paraupebas, in the southeast of Pará, belonging to several farmers. Known as the Macaxeira Farm, in this area the families of the victims of the Eldorado dos Carajás massacre, which took place on April 17, 1996, when nineteen Sem Terra people were murdered, are settled' (Fernandes, Bernardo Mançano e Stedile, João Pedro. Brava gente: a trajetória do MST e a luta pela terra no Brasil. São Paulo: Editora Fundação Perseu Abramo, 1999, p. 143, n. 10). See ELDORADO DOS CARAJ-S. 

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