Photo: Sebastião Salgado
On 17 April 1996, 1500 peasants of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST) rallied for agrarian reform on a public road in Eldorado do Carajás. Military police killed 19 of them. The day of the massacre of Eldorado do Carajás became the International Day of Peasants’ Struggles, a day to commemorate and celebrate the struggles for food sovereignty, agrarian reform, human rights, territories, freedom and justice.
During the past 25 years, the courage of the peasants killed in Eldorado do Carajás has been present in thousands of similar struggles in all continents. Peasants’ struggles have inspired global campaigns for agrarian reform and the achievement of food sovereignty, the UN Declaration of Peasants’ Rights and significant reforms in global governance on food security, such as the CFS.
This is a day of tears and solidarity, hope and imagination. Our struggles are connected, over continents and generations, rooted in evolving visions enjoyed by our communities, cultivated in our territories, reaffirmed by the dramatic consequences of the pandemic. The world must change, can change, will change. We will continue to take care of each other and to defend that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” (Art.1 Universal Declaration of Human Rights).