The Eldorado dos Carajás massacre took place on April 17, 1996 in Para, a state in southern Brazil. On that day, the police gunned down 19 peasants from the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (Landless Workers Movement) or MST who were demanding access to land. The anniversary of that massacre is commemorated around the world as International Day of Peasant Struggle.
The focus of this year’s anniversary is land grabbing, “a global phenomenon led by local, national and transnational elites and investors, with the participation of governments and local authorities, in order to control the world's most precious resources.”
At a recent European Union parliamentary conference on land grabbing, IATP’s President, Jim Harkness spoke about land grabbing inside the U.S. and China. In addition to controlling land and natural resources that come from the land, Harkness discussed the financialization of land grabs, where land speculation is driven by the potential of future profits, not even the opportunity for gain by use. Speaking on Global Agricultural Policy in an Age of Land Grabs, he said, “Land grabs are the most deadly manifestation of this brutally predatory way of organizing economies…”
IATP joins with farmers and peasants, our friends and partners around the world in support of the International Day of Peasant Struggle and calls for an end to land grabs and a moratorium on large-scale land purchases.
Video: Land grabbing: What happens in China and the United States, and what it means on a global scale