“MST settlement in Macaé (RJ) opposes the ‘backward land’

The Superior Court of Justice (STJ) confirmed last Wednesday (8) the decision of Minister Humberto Martins, who in December last year suspended the expulsion of more than 60 families that promote the Sustainable Development Project (PDS) Osvaldo de Oliveira, in Macaé, in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

In an interview with Brazil in fact, lawyer Fernanda Vieira, from the Nucleo de Assessoria Jurídica Popular (NAJUP) Luiza Mahin, criticized the conduct of the previous judgment that sought to expel the families from the area. She also argued that the project is proof that it is possible to produce food sustainably and out of the destructive logic that has been taking over the country during the government of Jair Bolsonaro (no party).

::Remember: STJ reverses decision and eviction of MST settlement families in Macaé is suspended::

“The PDS is an achievement for the whole society because it opposes this scorched earth model. It is a victory in this great clash in which the other side wants at all costs to eliminate the forests because there is no recognition of their value”, comments the lawyer who listed the next steps in the process in the interview. Check out.

Brasil de Fato: Can you review the history of court decisions in recent months?

Fernanda Vieira: The former owner of the area, the company Campos Difusora, aggravated the decision of the president of the STJ, Humberto Martins, who at the end of last year understood that there were many reasons to suspend the repossession. First, because there was a dissenting vote that warned of what we call “extra petita” (when the judge grants something different from what was originally requested by the plaintiff).

In other words, when determining the expulsion of the families, judge Marcelo Pereira da Silva, from the Federal Regional Court of the 2nd Region (TRF-2), argued that they could not continue there because that place did not present environmental conditions.

And where would be the problem with this decision of the judge of the TRF-2?

This was not the request of the Federal Public Ministry [MPF]. By filing this public civil action, the MPF only wanted the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform [Incra] present what would be the configuration of the settlement that could respect the environmental issue.

And this is precisely the PDS modality, it is the first in Rio de Janeiro with territory in a state markedly environmentally degraded. So, in the dissenting vote, in the TRF, federal judge Helena Elias Pinto stated that this was not in the original request.

What happened from there?

In our resources, we put the nullity of this decision-making process. There are several decisions in the STJ and the Federal Superior Court (STF) questioning these decisions “ultra petita” (when the judge decides beyond what was requested) and “extra petita” (when the judge considers a request outside what was requested in action).

So, this meant that the families remained, when Campos Difusora assumed last year to expel them. And there are many reasons for them to stay. Apart from the issues I mentioned in the process, it is not recognized that in times of such a serious pandemic, it is decided to expel families.

How big is this decision for the PDS?

This decision is very important for the PDS. We have not yet accessed the STJ’s motivations because the votes have not yet been made available. But we can say that a fundamental element that supported the decision of Minister Humberto Martins, in December of last year, was the recognition that there are families that produce and produce for a long time.

Campos Difusora and judge Marcelo Pereira da Silva pointed out that it does not produce, that it is a favela, even with a prejudiced look, within a hegemonic, white and urban logic that fails to understand the relevance of the social and cultural production of a favela.

They are divergent positions that demonstrate the clash you are talking about.

In the context of these two conflicting narratives, Martins’ decision recognizes that there is production there. The PDS feeds schools, has already won a bid in the National School Feeding Program (Pnae). The STJ’s special organ is composed of the 15 most senior ministers of the Court. They decided for the social role that these families have been playing within a state demarcated by environmental degradation.

This decision is not final, but it is undeniably symbolic.

The Osvaldo de Oliveira management committee made a memorial showing the historicity of the production, showing from a technical report of the Association of Geographers of Brazil that that territory has been recovered since the presence of the PDS and the families. This recovery is even threatened with the return of Campos Difusora, which never had any environmental commitment and which, while exercising ownership, had a behavior of abandonment and destruction of that territory.

This is because the company does not see any functionality other than speculation and degradation, the use of wood as a source of income, as we see in the national context.

What are the next battles to be faced in this action?

We have special and extraordinary appeals to be judged by the STJ and the STF. These are two appeals from the appeal decision that have not yet been considered. The current decision refers to the maintenance of the decision of the president of the STJ, it is not the final decision yet. It is a temporary decision, as it is resolved with the final decision, but it is important because it sustains the families’ permanence.

The PDS continues with an incredible agroecological production capacity.

Society needs to understand the historical moment we live in, the advance of agribusiness, transgenics, fires, environmental destruction. To be able to build a territory like the PDS Osvaldo de Oliveira, with an incredible production capacity and food diversity, without any use of pesticides, without environmental impact, is something fabulous, and that’s what we want.

It is another proposal that is presented to Brazil today, therefore…

We want to feed the nation without this meaning passing the tractor over large territorial extensions, this is not the life project of the PDS, this is not the life project that the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) has been building. The perception of environmental finitude, of the zeal we need to have for the environment, should be embraced by everyone, because the future of humanity lies in our ability to preserve the environment.

So, the next steps start with a work of social conviction about a production model like the PDS. This, yes, is a reference model, and not the “agro is pop, agro is everything” model, because agro is a coup.

Source: BoF Rio de Janeiro

Edition: Mariana Pitasse

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