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Invaders of Brazilian Congress Are Leftist Militants

Brazil’s Minister of Agrarian Development, Guilherme Cassel, in an interview on TV Nacional declared that he did not approve of the invasion of the Congress building yesterday, June 6, by members of the Movement for Liberation of the Landless (Movimento da Libertação dos Sem Terra) (MLST).

The Brazilian Ministry of Agrarian Development oversees the country’s land reform programs.

"An unacceptable act which cannot be justified. And above all, it certainly does not help our efforts to implant a land reform program. Land reform will be victorious only if it is peaceful and productive. It cannot be based on violence," said the minister.

The MLST is a splinter group that broke away from the Landless Rural Worker Movement (MST) in August 1997.

Most MLST members are leftist militants or former leaders of the MST. Last year it sponsored a protest at the Ministry of Finance to demand the release of US$ 890 million (2 billion reais) for land reform programs.

The MLST is strongest in the state of Pernambuco, and has representatives in Goiás, Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Maranhão.



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