Dear brothers and sisters,
We are going through a time of renewed hope with the work carried out by the leaders of the community of the agricultural workers at the Urupena farm in Ariquemes, in the state of Rondônia. After an appeal for solidarity by the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil (IEAB), through our Bishop Primate and General Secretary in the name of almost 250 people from this Farm, we have received ample and unrestricted solidarity from our own church, from ecumenical movements and organizations, from the organized civil society and from individuals in Brazil and abroad.
The online petition has so far attracted 185 signatures. And this instrument has reached government bodies opening doors to finding a political and institutional solution for the serious problem caused by a judicial decision of eviction signed by a judge from Ariquemes.
FEBRASIL (The Brazilian Spiritist Foundation) and FESUD (The South American Ecumenical Forum)showed their solidarity contributing towards the cost of the flights of two representatives of the community in Ariquemes to Brasilia. USPG (The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) showed solidarity with the cause of the agricultural workers and publicized their plight widely on their website and also supported the online petition. Political support from Senator Marina Silva, from advisors of the Ministry of Justice and from human rights militants have been fundamental for us to gain contacts with the Agrarian Ombudsman and with INCRA (National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform). We managed to get a hearing with the President of INCRA at which were present the Primate Bishop of the IEAB, Dom Maurício, the Revd. Hugo Sanches (Anglican Priest in Ariquemes) and Mr. Derli Cavalheira (representing the people of the settlement.) Concretely we have convinced INCRA to take on the negotiations between those involved to try to reach an agreement that brings a solution to the problem without needing to evict the families. Next week there will be a meeting between both parts involved to negotiate the possibility of disappropriation of the farm allowing for the families, who have been there for 13 years, to remain on the land.
According to the representatives themselves, after the hearing with Dr. Rolf Hackbart, "we are only a small step away from reaching a solution". We continue in prayer so that these families may receive the Good News of not being evicted from their homes and finally receiving the definitive ownership of the farm.
In my name and the name of our Bishop Primate, as well as our brothers and sisters in the Urupema farm, I would like to say thank you for all the support and solidarity shown towards us, whether through works or concrete actions.
We ask you to continue to publicize the online petition and we will kep you all informed of the next decisive steps.