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Protestor Assasinated During Direct Action in Brazil

October 2007

Private security forces hired by the multinational agribusiness Syngenta shot and killed Valmir Motta de Olivera, a leader of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) and the Via Campesina during a direct action protest on Sunday, Oct 21 in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná. Eight other protestors were wounded in the attack. The landless workers were occupying the site, where Syngenta runs field trials for genetically modified seeds. The land borders an ecologically important national park area, and the Via have proposed that the land be developed instead as a center for agroecology and creole seed production. The same landless families had occupied the land for 16 months from March 2006 through July 2007 and had returned on Sunday morning to begin another occupation. Private security forces, hired by Syngenta arrived in the afternoon and began firing into the crowd in order to retake the land by force.

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