May 23, 2013
CBAN Solidarity Action Report
Repression and killing of peasant leaders: On October 21, in Parana state Brazil, armed militia protecting field tests of genetically modified crops owned by Syngenta attacked a group of 200 members of the Landless Rural Worker’s Movement (MST), killing Valmir Mota de Oliviera. According to the MST, the attack was aimed at Valmir Mota and other leaders who had already received death threats.
On November 8, 2007, the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network coordinated solidarity actions in three locations in Canada: Head Office of Syngenta Seeds Canada in Arva Ontario, the Embassy of Brazil in Ottawa and the Consulate General of Brazil in Montreal. At 10:00 in the morning, all observed a minute of silence for Valmir Mota de Oliveira and peasants who have lost their lives in struggles for food sovereignty across the world. At the Head Office of Syngenta Seeds, farm leaders representing 4 locals of the National Farmers Union gathered and attached a sign reading “NFU remembers Valmir Mota de Oliveira killed by Syngenta guards on October 21, 2007” to Syngenta’s sign on the road. In Ottawa, a CBAN delegation met with staff from the Embassy of Brazil who expressed concern over this violence and pledged to request an investigation that would see justice done. In Montreal, a delegation from Union Paysanne joined by local people and a representative from L’Entraide missionnaire and GRAIN delivered a letter of concern to staff at the Consulate General of Brazil.
In addition to the participation of local people and messages of support from grassroots groups across Canada, present at the actions were representatives from the following CBAN Member groups: Canadian Organic Growers, Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario, Inter Pares, National Farmers Union, Union Paysanne, USC Canada.