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Cutting the Wire: The Story of the Landless Movement in Brazil

by Sue Branford and Jan Rocha - £24.95  Latin America Bureau (2002)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781899365517 | ISBN 10: 1899365516

Access to land is one of the key issues for developing countries - and Brazil has one of the most inequitable land distributions in the world, with vast tracts of land held by often absentee landowners. Meanwhile thousands of peasants live in marginal lands in cities and rural areas. The Brazilian Landless Worker's Movement (MST) has proved a huge success with the disenfranchised rural and urban poor in Brazil - becoming one of the largest social movements in the world. 'Cutting the Wire' is the first account in English of the origins, history and current challenges faced by Brazil's poor majority. The authors have travelled the vast expanse of the country to record the words and actions of hundreds of activists who have taken their lives into their own hands. 'Cutting the Wire' is how the MST describe the act of occupying the land, the cornerstone of their movement. It is the baptism of fire for the militant, an essential part of their identity and it plays a key role in the mistica, the movement of collective rituals that kicks off all MST events. "We have always been told that agrarian reform is a good idea in principle, but the conjuntura, or present moment, isn't right," said Monica, an MST leader. "Well, we make the conjuntura right." The activists become subjects of their own history and by doing so they turn their world upside down. 'Cutting the Wire' is their story, told in their words, in vivid first-hand accounts of a continuing struggle.

(Price & availability last checked: March 2018)

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In booklists: Brazil,
In categories: World - Latin America & Caribbean,

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