Of Land and Hope

September 30th, 2002 Comments Off on Of Land and Hope

Reading the news in my aggregator today, I found an article about the Landless Workers Movement, a Brazilian movement that aims to wrest idle land from landowners. As a Brazilian, I regularly follow the news about the MST, as it’s called in Portuguese, given its expressive participation in Brazil’s current political landscape.

The article attracted my attention because it represented a non-Brazilian point of view about the movement. Contrary to most of the propaganda I usually see, the article gave a good account of the issues involved, and if it was too favorable to MST, it also showed a different side of the movement.

Although I disagree with the way the MST works to accomplish its goals (sometimes it seems they think the ends justify the means), I must credit them with being one of the few active bodies working to create a better Brazil and provide dignity for countless Brazilians — a fact that the article stresses. I particularly liked the movement’s awareness about the need to create conscious citizens: people who understand their responsibilities to the society. Of course, there are some people inside the movement that see it as a way to achieve their own goals and will use any means to that. Unfortunately, in recent times, much of the MST activities have shown the hand of such kind of people, but I sincerely hope the movement as a body can live up to the beliefs expressed in the article.

To sum up my impressions, the article made me think and re-evaluate my views about the MST, and while I still have reservations about some of their beliefs and practices, I can now understand better what they say and do.

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