Comrade Maria : Here! Now and forever


Statement of the International Commission of Women of La Via Campesina
January 10, 2013.

Dear comrades,

We are writing to you from the International Commission of Women (CIM)
of La Via Campesina with tremendous pain in our hearts.

Last Sunday (06/01/2013) we received the sad and repulsive news that our
comrade María Do Fetal de Almeida had been brutally murdered by her
partner in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

María, a Portuguese citizen, had been a resident of Brazil for over ten
years (she did a doctorate in Geography at the University of Sao Paulo
— USP), and, since her arrival, had been supporting the Movement of
Landless Rural Workers (MST) at La Vía Campesina Brazil and La Vía
Campesina International. Maria formed part of the team of interpreters
at the 5th International Vía Campesina Conference in Mozambique (2008),
as well as carrying out numerous other activities, and more recently
translated our newsletter on the Campaign to Stop Violence Against Women
. She also interpreted at many of our organisation's events.

From our war trenches, from our organisations, from the CIM and from la
Via Campesina, we are determined to fight against this situation; we are
deeply disturbed by this news which has affected one of our comrades
directly. We hope the Brazilian justice system will judge her murderer
and give him his just punishment.

Maria was a strong woman, with preoccupations, like all women with the
double and triple responsibility of work and organisation, and she knew
that what is important in life is to “fight and wage war”. To paraphrase
Simone de Beauvoir, our own María told us one day: “You’re not born a
woman, you become one.”

The example she set as an activist and her dedication as a teacher
motivate us to keep fighting, as María did, for a fairer, more equal and
internationalist world. Today, more than ever, our fight is
indispensable in all corners of our world against every kind of violence
against women.


The peasants from La Vía Campesina say: *STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!*

La Via Campesina
Via Campesina is an international movement of peasants, small- and
medium-sized producers, landless, rural women, indigenous people, rural
youth and agricultural workers. We are an autonomous, pluralist and
multicultural movement, independent of any political, economic, or other
type of affiliation. Born in 1993, La Via Campesina now gathers about
150 organisations in 70 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.


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