PGA Bulletin

Peoples' Global Action against “Free” Trade and the WTO

Issue number 2, June 1998

Part II:
May Actions in Latin America


In Brazil the “star” march from the four cardinal points of the country converged on the 20th of May in the capital of the country, Brasília, its final destiny. The march, that brought together around 50.000 people from all over the country, was called by CUT (Central Union of Workers), CMP (Central of Popular Movements), CONTAG (Agriculture Worker's Confederation) CNBB (National Conference Bishops in Brazil), The National Forum of Education and the MST (Movement of Landless People). As the march entered in the capital, in the North-East of the country the MST and its numerous followers continued attacking supermarkets and commercial and government food stores, showing society and politicians that 40 million Brazilians suffer from hunger. José Rainha Junior, one or the leaders of MST said on Monday in Salvador da Bahia that “Where there are people who die of hunger, the MST will be at their side”.

Antonio Carlos Magalhaes, the interim president, tried to arrest the leaders of the MST because of the supermarket looting. But the Brazilian court of justice did not fulfil his desire. Jaime Amorim, one of the leaders of MST in the North-East said after the reaction of the court that “society has finally understood the reality of hunger and drought in the region”. From now on, he continued – “the MST will work with different unions of rural workers and the catholic church. It will organize discussions with the cities inhabitant suffering from droughts and invite them to take part in the manifestations called THE CRY OF THE EXCLUDED on September the 6th.” The MST also continues occupying big landlord's estates – 2 haciendas were recently occupied in the state of Pernambuco.

Benedito Roberto Barbosa from the Union of Housing Movements of São Paulo said: “The camping in front of the supermarkets will continue in this city to denounce the situation of the poor and the homeless. In Brazil there are more than 40 million brothers suffering from hunger.”

During the Geneva WTO conference, the economist João Pedro Stedile, one of the principal leaders of MST, said in Vienna that “the financial markets govern our country, along with the rural oligarchy and the industrial capitalists”. He also gave an advice to the investors: “do not invest in Brazil anymore because you will lose your money as sooner or later the people will reclaim their country.” Gilberto Portes de Oliviera, representative of the MST in the anti-WTO demonstration that took place in Geneva on the 16th of May, declared “The mobilizations in Brazil are the logical response of peasants and workers against the policies imposed by the WTO. These policies are being readily implemented by the Brazilian government, and as a result, the social polarization is growing rapidly. This is why the social struggle is becoming increasingly necessary”.

Contact: Mr. Ramos, tel. +55-61-3182271.

Chile (and other countries)  

Following the call for action of the PGA, the Chilean Action Network for Peoples' Initiative (RECHIP) organized a virtual forum on the WTO and the AMI, according to the design set at the American Peoples' summit.

A large number of people from Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, United States and Canada have participated in this forum. There was also participation from Japan and South Korea. Unions, environmental organizations, religious organizations, and youth groups took part in the forum; their documents can be found at

We are making a summary based on the documentation received, which will be sent to all participants and also to the chancellery.



On the 9th of June a performance took place in the Constitution's Square, in the centre of Mexico City. The performance had the objective of protesting against neoliberal policy and informing people of the events taking place in the rest of the world. Contact. (Biblioteca Social Reconstruir)

index of part II