It is with sadness and indignation that we have learned about the murder of João Pereira de Oliveira, known as João Bigode. He was murdered on April 15 at around 7pm by a death squad that shot him in his home in Santana, municipality of Antônio Gonçalves (Bahia/Brazil).
João Bigode was one of the leaders of the Small Farmers Movement in Bahia; a movement that we know not only for its determination in the fight for the rights of small farmers in Brazil but also for the solidarity that it has extended to the struggle of the Palestinian people. We are together in the campaign "From Palestine to the Northeast of Brazil: We Thirst for Justice" that struggles against the interests of Mekorot and other Israeli water companies that aim to profit from the privatization and agribusiness in north
Today more than ever we thirst for justice! We condemn this murder of our fellow comrade that is part of a system of repression born in colonial times and slavery, that has continued throughout the times of dictatorship and is today the power base of the large landowners and agribusiness. We demand an end to impunity for those who kill, repress and threaten the activists of our movements. We join the call of the Small Farmers Movement that justice shall be achieved for the murder of João Bigode.
As Palestinian people, we know that struggle entails sacrifice but we also know that João Bigode will leave a legacy in each of the peasants in struggle in Bahia, in Palestine and across the world. João Bigode will continue his struggle in each of us.
We will continue his path to justice, land and rights.
Globalize the struggle, globalize hope!
Together we will overcome impunity and advance towards a world of justice, freedom and equality.
João Bigode presente!
Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall)
Palestinian Farmers Union
Land Defense Coalition
Palestinian National Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Committee (BNC)